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

Main contact

Ann Hindley, Executive Officer
Tel: 01724 710819
Address: VSSN Office, 11 Commonside, Crowle, North Lincolnshire DN17 4EX


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

Jane Cullingworth is a third 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 is a Research Associate at the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. He works on a range of research and evaluation projects in the broad area of public service delivery, particularly by voluntary sector organisations. Particular research interests include the impact of state funding on charities, employment services, and social finance. Chris specialises in quantitative methods, including data visualisation, data management and econometric modelling.

    Jon Dean. Sheffield Hallam University

    Jon Dean is senior lecturer in politics and sociology at Sheffield Hallam University. His research focuses on inequalities within the voluntary sector, particularly related to youth volunteering. He has also completed research investigating the representation of homelessness, the role of emotion in charity fundraising appeals, and the symbolic power of charity. He teaches across a range of subjects but with a focus on charity and the community sector. Much of the rest of Jon’s work focuses on critical reflexivity, and the use of creative qualitative methodologies. Jon has worked in volunteering sector in both the public and voluntary sectors.

    • Jurgen Grotz ,   Director of the Institute of Volunteering Research, University of East Anglia

     Jurgen is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of East Anglia and the Director of the Institute of Volunteering Research there. Born in Germany in 1963, he received an MA in 1992 for work on disability in China, and a PhD in 1996 from the University of London for work on Chinese Braille. He is an academic and practitioner with 25 years’ experience of applied research, working with voluntary associations and volunteer-involving organisations, with a strong focus on participative approaches. As Director of the Institute for Volunteering Research based at the University of East Anglia, he is now in a position to support actively the endeavours of VSSN, in particular by promoting understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research and by providing a voice and a meeting place for voluntary sector researchers in the UK. He is especially interested in helping to support early career researchers and also co-developing scientifically robust ways to show the difference volunteering and volunteering research make, extending VSSN’s reach both nationally and internationally.

    Vita Terry is a Senior Researcher at The Institute for Voluntary Action. Previously she worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership, Open University. Her research interests are on the role of the voluntary sector delivering public service provision, especially small and medium sized organisations, and around organisational behaviour. More broadly she is interested in researching migration, integration, and issues around ethnic minority communities. Vita enjoys adopting different qualitative methods to co-produce research, including ethnography, visual methods and film-making. She has a long standing interest in volunteering, in the latter years as a trustee of a small local HIV charity and at a multi-purpose play space.

    Diarmuid McDonnell, Third Sector Research Centre, Unversity of Birmingham

    Diarmuid McDonnell is a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham. His research examines the following topics relating to the voluntary sector: measuring and modelling risk; evaluating regulatory initiatives; understanding accountability incentives; constructing and tracking income profiles; and measuring mission completion. He has methodological interests in the use of administrative data for social science research, data science, and policy evaluation methods

    Carol Jacklin-Jarvis, Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership, The Open University.

    Carol’s research interests explore contemporary theories of leadership in the particular context of the voluntary sector and of collaboration across sector boundaries. She is also involved in projects exploring ethics and leadership, online leadership development, and the digital skills needed for leading contemporary third sector organisations.
    Other voluntary sector involvement: Carol worked in different third and public sector roles over more than 20 years before becoming an academic. These roles all focused on collaborative organisational, project and strategic development to address complex social problems, including child wellbeing and family support. She was previously trustee of an adoption agency and has volunteered in youth, children and local community activities – where she particularly enjoys catering for large social gatherings. She has recently joined the VSSN Steering Group where she is particularly looking forward to supporting early career researchers.

    Geoff Nichols, University of Sheffield

    Geoff lives in Sheffield. He recently retired from Sheffield University, where he worked for 30 years, and has an honorary post. His research has mainly been into volunteers in sport; in clubs and at events. He is a member of the Sport Volunteering Research Network and the Research Advisory Group for Power to Change. He is a keen walker and climber, which fortunately he can do locally.

    Sophie Wilson, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council.

    Sophie Wilson is Director of Research at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC). BVSC supports the voluntary and community sector of Birmingham to help build a more inclusive and dynamic city. BVSC Research is a directorate within BVSC core service provision offering research, evaluation & consultancy to inform and support the VCFSE sector and its public sector partners in response to identified needs; inform service and delivery models that support innovation and development across sectors and ensures that service provision is evidence-based; Analysis and briefings to the third sector around policy developments in the City, increasing the sector’s capacity to inform and influence policy; Learning and sharing resources, intelligence and information from partners to ensure these are circulated to as wide an audience as possible.

    Sophie established BVSC Research in September 2019. She is a skilled and experienced Third Sector Leader and researcher with excellent in-depth knowledge and understanding of the sector gained through over twenty years of work including leading a national criminal justice charity for six years. She has particular expertise and knowledge in the area of systems change for people facing multiple disadvantage and through her professional career and her academic study (Masters in Public Administration) which focussed on systems leadership in the VCFSE sector. She has worked on a wide variety of research and evaluation projects over the past three years including research projects exploring the impact of Covid-19 on communities, and the response to the pandemic of the sector. She is passionate about ensuring research and evaluation with, by or about the sector is shared in a way that is useful to the sector and the communities they serve.

    Daiga Kamerade. University of Salford

    Daiga Kamerade is a work and employment researcher with a particular interest in volunteering and third sector employment. Particular interests include inequalities in volunteering, volunteering and employability and wellbeing, as well as future of work. She specialises in quantitative methods and the use of large national and cross-national surveys. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Reader in Work and Wellbeing and the Lead of Connected Lives and Diverse Realities Research Group at the University of Salford. Daiga is also a co-editor of the Voluntary Sector Review.

    Other contacts

    Other contact points for VSSN are as follows:-

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

    About VSSN