CRESR

Voluntary and community sector

CRESR has expertise and a long standing interest in the study of the voluntary and community sector. We undertake research both for and about the sector.

Our work focuses on:

  • measuring and mapping the voluntary and community sector
  • measuring outcomes and impact, including of social return on investment
  • approaches to social investment and funding
  • understanding sustainability, resilience and financial vulnerability
  • engagement and participation of communities

We also undertake research on specific social, economic and policy issues for clients. For example, we carried out research on hidden homelessness for the housing charity Crisis and have looked at the role of community businesses for rural community councils.

Search our work


Evaluation of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War Centenary activities

Project Director: Dr Will Eadson
Project Duration: 2014-2020

Evaluation of the HLF’s grant-making activities aimed at supporting activities by community groups and heritage-based organisations focused on the commemoration of the First World War Centenary.


Talent Match Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2013-2019

Talent Match is a Big Lottery Funding initiative of up to £100 million. It is investing resources in a number of areas in England where youth unemployment is a significant issue. BIG will invest for a period of up to five years to improve the lives of people aged 18-24 who have been out of education, employment or training for 12 months or more. The aims of the evaluation and learning contract are: to track the success of the programme and projects within it; to identify what works well, for whom and in what circumstances; and to share learning and improve practice.


Stockport Council NESTA evaluation

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Dates: 2014-2015

This project comprises a process and impact evaluation of the Stockport Targeted Prevention Programme. The programme is seeking to develop local capacity to increase the role of volunteers within the delivery of services to people with long term conditions, which support them to stay healthy and independent.

The evaluation will employ a range of research methods to gather qualitative and quantitative data to address a number of questions: What impact has the programme had on people in Stockport with long term conditions? What is working well? What isn’t working well? What are the reasons for this?
 


Building Capabilities Evaluation and Learning Contract: Formative Scoping Study

Project Directors: Dr Rob Macmillan (TSRC) / Professor Peter Wells (CRESR)
Project Duration: 2014

The Building Capabilities for Impact and Legacy (BC) initiative is a significant and innovative step-change in the way in which support for front line voluntary organisations (FLOs) is organised. It suggests the move away from a supply-side focus which tends to privilege the work of existing voluntary sector infrastructure organisations, towards a ‘demand-led’ emphasis which brings the priorities of front line organisations to the fore. The underlying principle is that providing greater choice and control for FLOs over access to support will lead to more effective interventions to develop their skills and confidence and, ultimately, to improved outcomes for beneficiaries.


Social Investment in Cumbria Research

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2014

This study seeks to explore the viability and feasibility of loan funding for voluntary and community sector organisations in Cumbria. The focus of the study is on loans in the range £5k-50k. This reflects feedback from VCS organisations in Cumbria  that this segment of the social investment market is underserved in Cumbria. The study is being undertaken in partnership with the Charity Bank.

The project team also includes Kiri Langmead, Ellen Bennett (Sheffield Hallam University) and Professor Tony Chapman (Durham University).
 


Get in touch

For further information please contact Sarah Pearson at s.pearson@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 4902,
or Professor Peter Wells at p.wells@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6262.

Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
Cabinet Office
Community Fund
Economic and Social Research Council
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
Groundwork
Heritage Lottery Fund
Home Office
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Involve Yorkshire and Humber
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Northern Rock Foundation
Rural Action Derbyshire
Salford CVS
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
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