VSSN is run largely by an elected Steering Group and Associates, mostly through voluntary effort, helped by a part-time Executive Officer.

Main contact

Beth Longstaff, Executive Officer
Tel: 0743 468 0461
Address: VSSN Office, 289 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield S7 1FJ


Our Trustees (a.k.a. Steering Group members) and their particular areas of responsibility are as follows:-

  • Nick Acheson, Trinity College Dublin (Editor Voluntary Sector Review)

    Nick Acheson is retired and is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Engagement, School of Business, Trinity College Dublin. He is researching the future of advocacy organisations in the post banking collapse welfare states in Ireland's two jurisdictions as case studies in comparative social policy. weblinks:;

  • Louis Carserides, Practical Wisdom R2Z (Co-opted member, membership issues)

    Louis’s main interest is research and policy analysis in the voluntary and community sector. He joined Practical Wisdom R2Z in January 2014 as a Research Associate and has been working on the new Crystal Palace Project. In his spare time he is currently conducting a mixed-methods analysis on how a community based organisation sustained a six year campaign against a £70Million council project. He was awarded with a scholarship to study social policy (research) at the London School of Economics and centred his thesis on the impact of national and local policies on the independence of grassroots, community-based organisations. See

  • Carolyn Cordery, Aston University (Treasurer)

    Carolyn Cordery (Treasurer) Carolyn is a Professor in Accounting at Aston University and her research focuses on voluntary sector organisations' accounting and accountability, including charities and sports clubs. She is particularly interested in how these organisations are resourced (by donors/philanthropists, grants, contracts, volunteers, etc.) and the resource constraints that cause many of these organisations to be financially vulnerable. She recently moved from New Zealand where she was a member of the New Zealand Accounting Standards Board from 2011-2016 and New Zealand’s Lotteries Community Sector Research Committee for a similar period.

  • Jane Cullingworth, University of Glasgow

    Jane Cullingworth is a second year PhD student in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research explores the relationship between the state and the third sector in Scotland with a particular focus on the impact of the sector’s active participation in governance networks such as Community Planning Partnerships. Jane’s research is rooted in her involvement in community-based organisations over the past thirty years, most of which was in Toronto, Canada.

  • Chris Dayson, Sheffield Hallam University (Annual Conference)

    Chris Dayson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, where he has worked since 2008. Chris's research focuses on the role of voluntary and community sector organisations in public service delivery, particularly around the transformation and integration agenda in local government and statutory health services. He is currently involved in a senior capacity in a range of research and evaluation projects for local and national public sector bodies, voluntary sector organisations and charitable funders. Within SHU Chris also manages the University-wide interdisciplinary Centre for Voluntary Sector Research.

  • Angela Ellis Paine, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham (Co-Chair and Secretary)

    Angela Ellis Paine is a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre of the University of Birmingham. She has been involved in research on and with the third sector for many years and her primary research interests are in volunteering and participation. She was previously director of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Further details at

  • Anjelica Finnegan, NCVO (New researchers)

    Anjelica Finnegan is the Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Charity Finance Group where she leads their policy work on the financial sustainability of the charity sector, pensions and HR and Skills. Anjelica has a background in volunteering and voluntary sector research. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of Southampton in 2010 with a thesis on the history of government funding for volunteering policies in the UK. Most recently Anjelica was part of NCVO’s policy team where she led their research into the impact of welfare reform on the voluntary sector. Anjelica runs VSSN's New Researchers Group.

  • David Kane, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) (Website)

    David Kane is a Senior Research Officer with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). David leads the quantitative analysis of data for NCVO’s work on the size and scope of civil society. He is an author of the UK Civil Society Almanac and leads NCVO's participation in research to classify voluntary sector organisations and in open data. His blog is available at

  • Rob Macmillan, University of Birmingham (Co-Chair)

    Rob Macmillan is a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Birmingham. He is leading the design, coordination and delivery of a programme of longitudinal qualitative research with third sector organisations. Rob is also an editor of VSSN’s journal Voluntary Sector Review. Further details at

  • Linda Milbourne, Birkbeck College, University of London (Day conferences)

    Linda has worked as a researcher and lecturer in higher education since 1998, focusing on social policy initiatives and hard-to-reach groups, and leading postgraduate programmes and research in voluntary, community and youth studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She is also an associate of the Third Sector Research Centre, Birmingham, and a member of the editorial team of Voluntary Sector Review. Her recent research concentrates on changing social welfare relationships, exploring autonomy, compliance and resistances among civil society organisations. Linda has over 25 years experience of public and voluntary sector organisations, including as a manager, trainer, voluntary sector trustee and active campaigner.

  • Mike Woolvin (Annual Conference)

    A social geographer, Mike currently holds posts at both the University of Dundee and University of Stirling. His research interests include the nature, extent and implications of public service reform; the study of voluntarism, the voluntary sector and civil society (particularly its less formal elements); and understanding processes/experiences of social in/exclusion, poverty and disadvantage. Running throughout this is an interest in social and spatial variations, particularly with reference to urban and rural distinctions. He has a particular interest in qualitative methodologies, including in-depth and longitudinal data collection. Full web page:

  • Meta Zimmeck, Practical Wisdom R2Z

    Meta has had an eclectic career as a social policy researcher in independent consultancy, local government, central government, the voluntary and community sector and the private sector. Her interests include volunteering; partnerships between government and the voluntary and community sector, and effective programme delivery. She is a partner in Practical Wisdom R2Z, a research consultancy, and chair of the Voluntary Action History Society. See

Other contacts

Other contact points for VSSN are as follows:-

…but see members for VSSN’s most important people!

About VSSN