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

Main contact

Meg Wright, Executive Officer
Address: VSSN Office, Foil Cottage, Aberfoyle. FK8 3XF


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

Pat Armstrong, Voluntary Sector Consultant

Pat has had a long career in the third sector and has been a member of VSSN for four years. Pat completed her doctorate exploring resilience in third sector leadership in 2023 and brings experience in Leadership and governance as well as a wide network and connections to the role of trustee. Pat also has experience in Membership development and is keen to support this aspect of VSSN

Karin Y. Biermann (she/her), University of Klagenfurt, Treasurer of VSSN

I am a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Klagenfurt in Austria. The central theme of my dissertation is volunteering by professionals, in particular, qualified accountants. Consequently, the project spans the types of volunteering they undertake, the social and professional expectations of providing a public service voluntarily, and the institutions and organisations involved. As a Fellow of CPA Australia, an international accounting body, perhaps unsurprising.

Ellen Bennet, Sheffield Hallam University

Ellen has been involved in VSSN since starting her PhD many years ago and has always valued being part of an engaged Network of researchers from different academic and practice contexts.  Ellen has experience of running networks within voluntary organisations, devising and running programmes of engagement and learning activities for network members.

Stephen Craker,  CEO at Communities 1st.

Stephen is dedicated to contributing to the growth of individuals and organisations through sharing knowledge, promoting best practices, creating opportunities and leading effective change. I have a passion of enabling organisations to live up to their potential and has a clear social ethos in high pressure/commercially sensitive environments through an ethical and outcomes driven approach. As a trustee at VSSN I am leading on communications.

Heather Fulford, Robert Gordon University


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. Jurgen 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, Jurgen 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.

Daniel Haslam, Open University

Daniel has been involved with VSSN since 2017 when he first attended the annual VSVR conference as a new PhD student. Since then, he has become more involved with VSSN through administration of the New Researcher JISC email list, coordination of New Researcher online sessions (until 2022) and organising/hosting the New Researcher sessions at the conference.

Carol Jacklin-Jarvis, Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership, The Open University, Chair of VSSN

Carol’s  research adopts the lens of contemporary leadership theories and applies them in the particular contexts of the voluntary sector and of cross-sector collaboration. She is involved in projects exploring ethics and leadership, leadership development, digital leadership and the voluntary sector contribution to place leadership. I adopt qualitative research methodologies and am particularly interested in taking an engaged approach to research that builds partnership between academics and practitioners. Carol has previously worked in third sector infrastructure organisations and project development and strategy roles in local government.

Daiga Kamerade, University of Salford

Daiga works as an 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. Daiga 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. She is also a co-editor of the Voluntary Sector Review.

Amy Sanders, Aberystwyth University

Amy is a Research Associate in Wales Institute of Social and Economic Data (WISERD) and the Centre for Welsh Politics and Society (CWPS) in Aberystwyth University. Her research interests lie in the intersections between equalities matters and the voluntary sector, as well as the relationship between the voluntary sector and government and has primarily researched these in the context of Welsh civil society. Amy is also interested in advancing approaches which ensure research has policy impact.  Before becoming a researcher Amy worked for over 16 years within the Welsh third sector and cooperative movement in projects that partnered with the public sector to promote civic participation and address inequality.

Vita Terry, Principal Researcher at The Institute for Voluntary Action and currently Co-Vice Chair at Voscur, an infrastructure organisation in Bristol.

My research interests are on the role of the voluntary sector delivering public service provision, especially small and medium sized organisations, organisational behaviour, community participation and empowerment, and local level systems change. I enjoy adopting different qualitative methods to co-produce research, including ethnography, creative methods and film-making. I previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (Open University) and the Third Sector Research Centre (University of Birmingham). My role at VSSN is providing support with VSSNs strategic direction, the New Researchers stream and VSVRs annual conference. I am currently co-vice chair with Carol Jacklin- Jarvis Please do connect with me either on Twitter @DrVitaTerry or on  Dr. Vita Terry | LinkedIn.

Joanne Vincett, Liverpool John Moore University

Jo has been a VSSN member for five years and is keen to be involved in shaping its future direction. Jo brings her enthusiasm for the voluntary sector as an educator, researcher, volunteer, and executive coach. Specifically, she has an interest in developing equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives with VSSN. Jo brings leadership experiences as an Editorial Management Board Member for the Voluntary Sector Review (2019-2022)

Sophie Wilson, Birmingham Voluntary Service Council  (BVSC).

Sophie oversees a range of research and evaluation projects for, with and about the VCFSE sector  She is also a Phd student with the Institute for Community Research & Development and the University of Wolverhampton. Her doctorate is concerned with the involvement of people with lived experience of multiple disadvantage in the delivery of front-line services.  Sophie  joined VSSN in  2021 and as a trustee is is interested in widening the membership of VCFSE organisations, to help to bridge the gap between the academic community, practitioners and sector-based/community researchers.

Other contacts

Other contact points for VSSN are as follows:-

Editorial Management Board

About VSSN