Vulnerable groups

CRESR has a strong record in delivering research exploring the needs and experiences of vulnerable and 'hard-to-reach' groups. Our research portfolio includes a substantial body of work focused on vulnerable sections of the population, including:

  • homeless people, particularly marginalised subsections of this population, such as those with mental ill health, rough sleepers and the 'hidden homeless'
  • people with multiple or complex needs
  • gypsies and travellers
  • street sex workers
  • offenders

We evaluate the impact of particular interventions on vulnerable groups. For example, we examined the efficacy of family/intensive intervention projects and recently assessed the Yorkshire Prisons ETA scheme. We inform relevant policy through the production of toolkits and guidance for clients, such as for regional planning bodies looking to estimate gypsy and traveller pitch requirements. Two key areas of work involve considering the role and effectiveness of statutory and voluntary sector agencies and assessing how well the policy and legislative framework meets the needs of vulnerable groups.

Search our work

West Yorkshire Finding Independence Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Del Roy Fletcher
Project Duration: 2014-2020

A mixed method evaluation of the West Yorkshire Pilot funded under the auspices of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives’ programme. The evaluation seeks to explore the implementation of the pilot and investigate its ability to provide an integrated service to those with multiple and complex needs (offending, homelessness, substance misuse and mental health problems).

Understanding the impact of the Breakthrough Project

Project Director: Dr Kesia Reeve
Project Duration: 2013-2016

This project involves CRESR working closely with the Cathedral Archer Project in Sheffield to understand the impact of an innovative project to support rough sleepers. The project involves helping to establish a monitoring system, evaluating impact on the clients of the project and understanding how the coordinated service model piloted by this project can be improved. Both the evaluation and the innovative initiative  of Cathedral Archer Project are being funded by the Lankelly Chase Foundation.

A framework of indicators for measuring inclusive growth

Project Director: Dr Richard Crisp
Project Diration: 2014-2015

It is increasingly recognised that measures of economic growth such as gross value added (GVA) fail to capture the nature and distributional outcomes of growth. This is significant as growth may not necessarily benefit households living in poverty. This research will address this by developing a framework of indicators to capture the complex and changing relationship between poverty and growth. It will help identify the extent of ‘inclusive growth’ in Britain’s cities and city-regions.

Evaluation of the British Red Cross 'First Call' Service for Older People

Project Director: Professor David Robinson
Project Duration: 2015

A process and outcome evaluation of the Red Cross First Call support programme for older people in Leicester and Rutland, which provides 12 week programme of support for older people at a time of crisis.

Rotherham Condensation study: how can problems of condensation be effectively reduced in social housing properties?

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2014-2015

Condensation and mould is an increasing problem in social housing and the private rented sector and will worsen as fuel poverty levels rise and as more poorly installed energy efficient improvements are made to properties without allowing for removing ‘cold bridges’ and offering appropriate ventilation measures.

This project is examining how the problem of condensation can be effectively reduced in social housing properties in Rotherham. The project involves focus groups with tenants, council staff and members to explore their understanding,  perceptions and experience of the problem and dealing with it. The study will monitor 20 intervention properties which will receive improved ventilation systems and ten control properties and conduct household questionnaires and in depth interviews with tenants.     

The project team also includes Catherine Homer and Anna Cronin de Chavez (Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University).

Get in touch

For further information please contact Dr Kesia Reeve at or call 0114 225 4519,
or Professor Ryan Powell at or call 0114 225 3561.

Key clients

Big Lottery Fund
Birmingham City Council
British Red Cross
Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY)
Department for Work and Pensions
Department of Children School and Families
Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC)
Glasgow Housing Assocation
Home Office
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Leeds City Council
National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
North Lincolnshire Council
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
Scottish Executive
Scottish Government
Small Business Service
South East England Regional Assembly
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
The Social Exclusion Unit
West Yorkshire Housing Partnership
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