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.

Early Action Neighbourhood Fund Evaluation and Learning Contract

Project Director: Sarah Pearson
Project Duration: 2015-2020

The Early Action Neighbourhood Fund (EANF) is an initiative aimed at supporting pilot projects to test early and preventative action in order to develop a better case for prevention and early action among commissioners and funders. The programme is being delivered by a collaboration of funders (the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, Esmee Fairbairn, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Legal Education Foundation), under the banner of the Early Action Funders Alliance.

Three pilot projects have been supported in Phase 1. The evaluation will demonstrate programme effectiveness and identify best practice which can be used by EANF grant holders. It will also evaluate the  effectiveness of programme design and delivery in providing the right conditions to support transformational projects.

The evaluation is using a mixed methods approach including collation and analysis of quantitative project and outcome data, and interviews with stakeholders and beneficiaries.

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.

An exploratory research study: Increasing the uptake of primary and community long term conditions services in Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Nottingham city

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2015-2017

The Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (NCCCG) has commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR), working in partnership with the Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR) at Sheffield Hallam University, to undertake an exploratory research study into the uptake of primary and community long term conditions (LTC) services in BME communities in Nottingham City.

Evaluation of Yorkshire Adoption Agency’s DFE Expansion Grant

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2015-2016

An evaluation Yorkshire Adoption Agency's (YAA) activities funded by a DFE Expansion Grant (2014-16). Employs a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, including Adoption Leadership Board (ALD) data.

Get in touch

For further information please contact Sarah Pearson at or call 0114 225 4902,
or Professor Peter Wells at or call 0114 225 6262.

Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
British Red Cross
Cabinet Office
Community Fund
Economic and Social Research Council
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
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
NHS Nottingham City CCG
Northern Rock Foundation
Rural Action Derbyshire
Salford CVS
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
Follow us

Bookmark or share this page