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.


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.


The State of the Former Coalfields: Benchmarking Study

Project Director: Dr Tony Gore
Project Duration: 2014

A study exploring current characteristics and conditions in former coalfield areas of Britain in comparison with regional and national benchmarks. It involved assembly and analysis of a range of quantitative indicators on issues such as demography, employment, unemployment, health, housing, education and deprivation on the one hand; and a qualitative survey of community and voluntary sector scope and activity, with particular reference to available sources and changing scale of funding on the other. The analysis found that better connected areas have undergone substantial regeneration and diversification, whereas more peripheral coalfields continue to experience serious economic and social dislocation.


Evaluation of the Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot

Project Director: Chris Dayson
Project Duration: 2013-2014

Evaluation of the social and economic costs and benefits of Voluntary Action Rotherham’s Social Prescribing Pilot being delivered on behalf NHS Rotherham CCG.


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
Rural Action Derbyshire
Salford CVS
Voluntary Action Rotherham
Yorkshire Rural Community Council
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