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The project is being co-produced by a UK-wide team of practitioners and academics. Click below to read more about the team members.

Irene Hardill

Irene Hardill

Principal Investigator, UK

Irene Hardill

Principal Investigator, UK

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Irene Hardill is Professor of Public Policy at Northumbria University. Over the years her research has explored the changing world of work through the many meanings of work, paid and unpaid in the home and in the community. Irene has long held a commitment to feminist methods, especially from a lifecourse perspective. Her research is participatory; she is committed to the co-production of knowledge. Irene's current research is supported by an ESRC project Discourses of Voluntary Action at two 'Transformational Moments' of the Welfare State, the 1940s and 2010s (ES/N018249/1) which is nearing completion and a British Academy Infrastructure project led by Dr Georgina Brewis on Digitising Voluntary and Community Sector Archives. She is a member of the ESRC COVID-19 Commissioning Panel, the Research Advisory Group of NCVO and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Jurgen Grotz

Jurgen Grotz

Academic Lead, UK

Jurgen Grotz

Academic Lead, UK

@IVRtweets Visit Website

Dr Jurgen Grotz is the Director of the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) at the University of East Anglia. With over two decades of experience in applied research his largely interdisciplinary work has a strong focus on participative approaches and public engagement, working across the academic, public and voluntary and community sectors. He has co-edited the prestigious Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations (2016), co-authored the Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research: An Introduction to Theory and Practice (2020) and he is Chair of the Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector.

Laura Crawford

Senior Research Fellow, UK

Laura Crawford

Senior Research Fellow, UK

@LauraECrawford

Dr Laura Crawford is Senior Research Fellow based at Northumbria University. She completed her PhD in Human Geography at Loughborough University in November 2019. Her thesis explored the geographies of disability, home and care of Le Court Cheshire Home, 1948-1975. Laura is committed to inclusive research methods and is interested in experiences of care across different spatial scales and historical contexts. Laura is overseeing all the data collection activities and project outputs. This involves coordinating project meetings, synthesising and analysing data and engaging with project partners.

Ewen Speed

Ewen Speed

Academic Lead, UK

Ewen Speed

Academic Lead, UK

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Ewen is Professor of Medical Sociology in the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Essex. He has research interests in health policy, particularly in the context of the NHS. He is also interested in critical approaches to understanding engagement and involvement in healthcare, and in critical approaches to psychology and psychiatry. He is currently an Associate Editor for the journal Critical Public Health. He is also a member of the National Institute of Health Research East of England Applied Research Collaboration, contributing directly to the Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice Led Health and Social Care theme and is Implementation Lead for this theme.

In this project Ewen is leading on the discourse analysis of policy documents from across the four jurisdictions. This analysis will be used to answer the core questions and establish how voluntary action policy frameworks differ across the UK.

Rahel Spath

Freelance Data Analyst, UK

Rahel Spath

Freelance Data Analyst, UK

@socstats_rs Visit Website

Rahel Späth is an independent data analyst who has specialised on supporting charities and other social sector organisations who are conducting social impact research. This mainly involves advising on the evaluation design and data collection methods, conducting the data analysis of all quantitative and qualitative data, and presenting the findings in practice-focused, rigorous reports. Most of her projects evolve around volunteering and its impact, particularly health volunteering. Prior to going freelance in 2016, she was a research consultant at Project Oracle and The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) where she co-designed impact evaluations with range of charities and other social sector organisations. She has a Master’s degree in Evidence Based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford.

Joanna Stuart

Joanna Stuart

Voluntary Sector Lead, England

Joanna Stuart

Voluntary Sector Lead, England

Joanna Stuart is an NCVO Research Associate and Visiting Research Fellow at Nottingham Trent University. She has been involved in researching voluntary action for over 15 years and previously worked with the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR), undertaking research projects and evaluations for a wide range of voluntary and community organisations. Alongside the Mobilising Voluntary Action project, Joanna is currently researching the impact of Covid-19 on the voluntary sector as part of the Respond, Recover, Reset’ project which includes exploring how the pandemic is affecting volunteering. Recently completed studies include a review on the impacts of volunteering on wellbeing with IVR, and research on family and volunteering with NCVO.

Catherine Goodall

England team, England

Catherine Goodall

England team, England

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Catherine Goodall is a Senior Policy and Influencing Advisor at NCVO. Catherine leads on a range of policy work for charities and volunteering. She has a background in research and practice, working with local authorities and universities to drive service improvement and facilitating participatory action research.

Eddy Hogg

Eddy Hogg

Academic Lead, England

Eddy Hogg

Academic Lead, England

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Dr Eddy Hogg is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Kent. His research looks at volunteering, charitable giving and public attitudes to the voluntary sector, with a particular interest in the role that voluntary action plays in the delivery of public services and the social justice implications of this. Recently he has worked on research on youth volunteering, on volunteering in public services, on charitable giving and volunteering in schools and, on charity and fundraising regulation. Eddy teaches a range of courses on Social Policy, the voluntary sector and volunteering, as well as being Divisional Co-Director of Education and Student Experience and Director of Studies for Social Policy and Health and Social Care.

Sally Rees

Sally Rees

Voluntary Sector Lead, Wales

Sally Rees

Voluntary Sector Lead, Wales

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Sally, formally a Textile Designer and Consultant, re-trained as a consequence of having two sons with an Autistic Spectrum condition. She has experience of working across the third and public sectors, with a focus on health, social care and well-being and the role the third sector has in supporting and delivering the policy intentions of the Welsh Government. She has a research background with interests in child health and disability, especially transition into adulthood, social prescribing, social value of health and social care interventions, and the role of community assets in supporting individual and community well-being.  Sally also has experience, knowledge, and expertise of  inter-sector working and Realist research methods.

She is currently the National Third Sector Health and Social Care Co-ordinator, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and a qualified Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral specialist.

Rhys Dafydd Jones

Academic Lead, Wales

Rhys Dafydd Jones

Academic Lead, Wales

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Rhys Dafydd Jones is a social geographer at Aberystwyth University. His research interests are concerned with migration, religion, and participation. He led a work-package examining ‘Migrants and minorities in civil society’ as part of the ESRC’s WISERD Civil Society research centre, which examines the role of EU citizens in civil society in Wales. He is currently involved with the new incarnation of WISERD, Civil Stratification and Repair, where he is working on the mobilisation of civil society around borders and migration, and on populism conflict, and political polarisation, examining how civil society can mediate polarisation. He has also been working on the Horizon2020 IMAJINE project, examining why people move to and stay in western Wales. He is an avid supporter of the Llanelli Scarlets rugby team.

James Lundie

Wales Team, Wales

James Lundie

Wales Team, Wales

James Lundie is a Research Officer at Wales Council for Voluntary Action as well working on their Grants Team. He is currently studying for a Social & Public Policy MSc at Cardiff University with a research focus on tackling poverty in a devolved context. James previously worked on the Communities First Support Service at WCVA supporting the community development workforce, before going into community development and engagement roles at two housing associations in Cardiff. James has been heavily involved in the implementation of the Welsh Voluntary Services Emergency and Recovery Grants to support the sector during the COVID-19 crisis as well as working to deliver other grant schemes administrated by WCVA.

Matthew Linning

Voluntary Sector Lead , Scotland

Matthew Linning

Voluntary Sector Lead , Scotland

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Matthew leads the Research and Evaluation Team at Volunteer Scotland and is also responsible for performance reporting to the Scottish Government. He is a member of the UK Youth Volunteering Forum, the Scottish Third Sector Research Forum and has been practitioner supervisor for two PhD research studentships in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

The goal of Volunteer Scotland is to be at the forefront of thought leadership to inform and engage key audiences within Scotland, the UK and overseas. A key part of his work involves close liaison with, and support for, the Scottish Government in the development of the evidence base underpinning its Volunteering for All: Our National Framework.

For this study Matthew will be leading the collection, analysis and presentation of the evidence defining Scotland’s volunteering response to COVID-19. This will build upon its COVID-19 evidence base on the impact of the pandemic on volunteering across Scotland.

Debbie Maltman

Debbie Maltman

Scotland team, Scotland

Debbie Maltman

Scotland team, Scotland

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Debbie works in the  Research and Evaluation Team at Volunteer Scotland focusing mainly on quantitative data analysis. Debbie joined the Research and Evaluation team at Volunteer Scotland in October 2018, after completing a summer project with Volunteer Scotland as part of her MSc in Data Science for Business, which was awarded the Data Lab student project of the year (2017/18). For this study Debbie will be collating the existing evidence on the volunteer response in Scotland to COVID-19, including Volunteer Scotland's quantitative analysis of a number of Scottish COVID surveys and qualitative evidence gathered from scanning media and social media from the outset of the pandemic.

Alasdair Rutherford

Academic Lead, Scotland

Alasdair Rutherford

Academic Lead, Scotland

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Alasdair Rutherford is a Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Stirling. His research focus is the analysis of administrative and survey data in the fields of health, social care and the third sector. Recent work includes examining the role of volunteers in dementia care, evaluating fundraising regulatory policy, and conducting a volunteering literature review for the Scottish Government. He has also been involved in a number of initiatives to build data analysis skills amongst third sector practitioners.

Alasdair's academic background includes economics, sociology, psychology and artificial intelligence. Prior to becoming an academic, Alasdair worked for seven years in marketing and fundraising for a large social care charity.

Cathy Hynds

Scotland team, Scotland

Cathy Hynds

Scotland team, Scotland

Cathy works in the Research and Evaluation Team at Volunteer Scotland with a focus on the conducting internal evaluations on different Volunteer Scotland projects. For this study Cathy will mainly be collating and reviewing the policy evidence relating to Scotland’s COVID-19 response. Cathy’s background is in international aid, co-designing interventions in response to different emergencies.

Denise Hayward

Denise Hayward

Voluntary Sector Lead, Northern Ireland

Denise Hayward

Voluntary Sector Lead, Northern Ireland

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Denise has been Chief Executive with Volunteer Now since August 2017. She has extensive experience in public and organisational volunteering policy development, local volunteering infrastructure engagement, supporting good practice in volunteering, young people and volunteering, older people volunteering and events volunteering.  She has knowledge of, and expertise in, working with volunteers and volunteering issues gained over many years working in the voluntary and community sector. Denise is an active volunteer for Armagh Talking Newspaper and Tearfund.

Andrew Hanna

Northern Ireland team, Northern Ireland

Andrew Hanna

Northern Ireland team, Northern Ireland

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Andrew has been a member of the team at Volunteer Now since September 2018 and has gained a range of experience through several roles. He has worked with many volunteer-involving organisations to help create, improve and adapt their volunteering programmes. He has experience of working with volunteers across a range of settings, including but not limited to schools, charities, sports clubs, and events. Andrew actively volunteers at his local rugby club, and is really looking forward to working on the project.

Nick Acheson

Academic Lead, Northern Ireland

Nick Acheson

Academic Lead, Northern Ireland

Dr Nick Acheson is academic partner in Northern Ireland for the Mobilsing Voluntary Action project. He has been a Lecturer in Social Policy at Ulster University and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Innovation at the Business School, Trinity College Dublin. Editor of Voluntary Sector Review: an international journal of third sector research, policy and practice from 2015 to 2018, he has served as Scientific Editor for the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, based in Berlin, from 2019 to 2021. His research interests have focused on citizenship, welfare state reform and voluntary action and he has written widely on both jurisdictions in Ireland, Canada, the UK and the European Union. He is currently a member of the Board of Volunteer Now.