Events

Conference report and presentations – Diversity in the spotlight

The report and all presentations from our recent conference, Diversity in the spotlight: highlighting perspectives on race, culture and migrants, are now available to download.

Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for a very stimulating start to what we hope will be a series of events exploring the marginalisation or absence of diverse groups from voluntary sector research and debates.

Conference bookings now open, with big discounts for VSSN members!

Bookings are now open for the 2018 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference conference, with big discounts for VSSN members.

Organised by VSSN in partnership with NCVO, this conference provides a unique opportunity for academics, policy makers and practitioners from the UK and further afield to come together to share and discuss research that addresses the conference theme, as well as broader issues facing the voluntary sector and volunteering at this time.

This year’s theme is ‘Trust, transparency and accountability of charities and voluntary organisations: challenges for policy, practice and research‘.

Early bird rates now available. Find out more about the conference and book your place here.

Report from Irene Hardill: Building bridges: Volunteering Research and Practice Workshop – 7 June 2018

Personal reflections

Rather appropriately the Building Bridges volunteering research and practice workshop, co-hosted by the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, Association of Volunteer Managers and the Network of National Volunteer Involving Agencies and supported by NCVO, was held during Volunteering Week. Through their networks the co-convenors attracted a diverse audience united by a commitment to understanding and supporting the growth of voluntary action and a desire to strengthen collaborative working between volunteer managers and researchers.

The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming, I met new people, and met colleagues some of whom I hadn’t seen for several years. I certainly learned a lot. The format of the day facilitated knowledge sharing, and the mobilisation of multiple knowledges. The latter effectively happens when knowledge is co-produced, and knowledge/evidence is presented in accessible formats targeted for specific audiences.

Key messages from the day for me as a university researcher include:

  • The importance of co-producing knowledge, of collaborating from the outset when identifying research questions
  • Of ensuring that research findings are presented available in accessible formats in order to inform decision making.
  • Of thinking of conduits that can be used to ensure that new knowledge is easily and efficiently ‘discovered’ by the sector
  • Of the importance of networks that create the spaces and places for conversations between those committed to supporting voluntary action

Irene Hardill, Northumbria University

Call for papers – New Researchers Sessions

2018 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference – New Researchers Sessions

The New Researchers Sessions run alongside the annual Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference, which this year is taking place in London on 6th and 7th September.

The Call for Papers for the New Researchers Sessions is now open. The deadline for submissions is 9th May.

The aim of the sessions is to give new researchers (i.e. those who are new to research or who are new to the voluntary sector) an opportunity to:

  • present their research
  • get constructive feedback in a supportive environment
  • meet other new researchers and network
  • network with established researchers and practitioners

These events are organised by the Voluntary Studies Sector Network (VSSN) and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

The deadline for abstract submissions is 9th May. There is also an opportunity to be considered for the Campbell Adamson Memorial (New Researchers) Prize.

For more information, download the full call for papers.

Youth Action, Activism and Education One-day Conference: Open for Registrations

 

Youth Action, Activism and Education:

Continuities, Changes and Possibilities

9am-4pm

Thursday 15th March, 2018

The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence, Canterbury, Kent

Further conference information

 

Youth action, civic activism and education stands at an important crossroads. A number of recent political events across the world have evidenced the importance of, and need for, young people to play an active role in their communities – and to do so in critical and creative ways. While there is now a body of literature which refutes the view that young people are disengaged in political processes, there remain questions about precisely why and how young people experience social action and activism, and whether they do so in equitable ways.

 

Viewing such questions as vital, this free one-day conference will explore international, national and local perspectives on the changing nature of youth action, activism and the associated implications for education. This is a partnership event organised and supported by Canterbury Christ Church University, VSSN and Leverhulme Trust.

 

Places at the conference are limited. To register and save your place, please contact Professor Andrew Peterson (andrew.peterson@canterbury.ac.uk) providing your institutional/organisational affiliation and details of any dietary and accessibility requirements.

 

                   

Call for papers: VSSN Day Conference, May 2018

Developing innovative approaches to tackling complex social problems – opportunities and challenges

VSSN’s next day conference will take place on 9th May 2018, hosted by York Business School, York Saint John University.

Academic and media commentary on charities and civil society organisations often presents a pessimistic view of organisations facing many challenges, whether due to funding constraints, loss of autonomy and public trust, and reputational damage following links to public scandals. While a critical analysis of the voluntary sector role in shoring up competitive and contractual cultures is called for, we also need to recognise that alternative models and initiatives are emerging, especially at grassroots levels.

There are growing pressures on locally based community organisations and social enterprises to tackle increasingly complex social issues, but organisational actors are also active in developing different ways to address these challenges.

This day seminar aims to explore new and innovative approaches which are being put in place to tackle complex social problems, including enduring and increasing poverty and growing inequalities, and the forms and effectiveness of such new approaches.

The seminar will ask how organisations and communities are responding to prolonged public sector funding cuts, austerity and the upheavals caused by political uncertainties, including over BREXIT. It will explore a range of questions, for example:

  • Do new initiatives represent an opportunity to innovate and work together to successfully tackle complex social problems?
  • If so, what initiatives are emerging that present sustainable opportunities for the future?
  • Which initiatives are proving successful and which are not, and why?
  • What challenges do organisations face in developing new initiatives in the current environment?
  • Can successful strategies be replicated in diverse communities and what problems are encountered in achieving this?

 

Abstracts

We welcome contributions from researchers, academics, doctoral students and practitioners from a broad range of fields around innovative initiatives taking place in different communities, and critical theoretical debates on what is happening to voluntary and community sector innovation and enterprise in the current period.

We will be pleased to consider proposals on related topics which may include (but are not limited to) organisations working with diverse groups in the population, for example refugee groups, those facing inequalities due to geography, black and minority ethnic led, women’s and faith-based groups.

Your abstract should outline your proposed paper, showing how the issues you raise will contribute to the themes for the day.

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent to: m.hemmings@yorksj.ac.uk by March 12th.

Please also attach contact details.

If helpful, please contact Mike to discuss contributions informally in the meantime.

 

Attending the event

VSSN aims to promote an understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research. The event is aimed at researchers, academics, doctoral students and practitioners in voluntary organisations or foundations interested in the UK voluntary sector. We also welcome policymakers and practitioners engaged in relevant fields. We are always pleased to meet and receive contributions from colleagues in similar settings in other countries. The working language is English.

Booking for the event will open once the programme is finalised.

We look forward to welcoming you at York Saint John University on May 9th 2018.

Youth action, activism and eduction: Call for papers and posters

Youth action, activism and education: Continuities, changes and possibilities

Thursday 15th March, 2018

Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

This free one-day conference will explore international, national and local perspectives on the changing nature of youth action, activism and the associated implications for education.

The programme will include keynote speakers and papers which will introduce and raise key aspects of this topic. We also welcome papers from researchers from across the career stage and located in a diverse range of fields, which may span education, youth studies, voluntary action, activism and participation in civil society organisations.

To present a paper or poster, please send an abstract (up to 250 words with your email and institutional affiliation) in Word format to andrew.peterson@canterbury.ac.uk. Your abstract should outline your proposed paper, showing how the issues you raise will contribute to the themes for the day.

Download the full call here.

The deadline for abstracts is 10th January 2018.

Places at the conference are limited, and registrations will open mid-January.

 

Book now for ‘Leading through challenging times’

Bookings are now open for the next VSSN day conference on 23rd November 2017, hosted by the Open University Business School in Milton Keynes:

Leading through challenging times: can the sector respond to the wider crisis of political and civil society leadership?

The programme and abstracts are available to download here and promise a diverse and critical engagement with issues of leadership in theory and practice.

VSSN members pay only £35, saving 50% on the full conference fee.

The conference includes the VSSN AGM.

We look forward to welcoming you to Milton Keynes in November.

 

 

‘Border Crossings’ day seminar – bookings now open

Bookings are now open for the VSSN day seminar in Glasgow on Thursday 18th May, ‘Border Crossings: Implications for Civil Society in a ‘Dis’-United Kingdom’.

This timely seminar will consider the implications for the third sector and civil society of changing relationships within the UK and between the UK and Europe.

Read the programme and abstracts and book your place online here.

We look forward to seeing you in Glasgow!