23rd May 2019 (All Day)


Thursday 23rd May, The Circle, Rockingham Lane, Sheffield City Centre

The next VSSN day conference will be held in Sheffield and is focused on small charities, community groups, ‘below the radar’[i] organisations, and informal grassroots action.

Charities with multi-million pound incomes and global brands largely dominate discussions within the third sector press and drive related policy interventions. In parallel, formally organised voluntary sector service providers have also dominated much academic research. However, the need to pay close attention to small organisations, and the distinctive contributions and value of small groups and movements could not be greater.

This day conference will bring researchers together with practitioners working or volunteering for small and community-based organisations and groups, to reflect on the day-to-day challenges faced in such work and action, and help build a collective research and policy agenda in this area.


Programme (download programme and abstracts here)

09.45 – 10. 15   Registration and refreshments

10.20 – 10.30     Welcome and Introduction

10.30 – 11.30    Opening plenary: Lindsay Findlay-King (Northumbria University) (panel co-ordinator), Geoff Nichols (Sheffield University), Katrina Foxton (York University), Tom Archer & Ian Wilson (Sheffield Hallam University), & Daryl Porter (Sheffield City Council): Community asset transfer (CAT) of leisure facilities – small volunteer-group management

11.30 – 12.00    Katherine Brown (Director of Crafting Relationships) & Sonia Liff (Volunteer at the Sir John Moore Foundation): Local History Cafe at the Sir John Moore Foundation

12.00 – 12.30      Alison Body (University of Kent) & Jennifer Ross (Chair of Parent Council): Coproduction of primary education: A local case study analysis of the establishment of a parent council

12.30 – 12.45     Information exchange/research sharing

12.45 – 14.00     Lunch    

14.00 – 14.30     Jon Dean (Sheffield Hallam University): Informal volunteering, gender, and class

14.30 – 15.00     David Yates (Aston University): Behind Closed Doors: An exploratory study of differential accounts in UK service clubs

15.00 – 15.15    Break

15.20 – 16.20    World café: Diverse local groups will contribute to understandings of the experiences of small organisations and groups and the issues they face.

16.30                  Finish


[i]For example, see: McCabe, A. (2018) ‘Ten Years Below the Radar: Reflections on Voluntary and Community Action’, TSRC Working Paper 143, November 2018 https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/generic/tsrc/documents/tsrc/working-papers/10-years-below-the-radar-final.pdf


Ticket Type Price Spaces
Standard - non member £70.00
VSSN member £35.00
Low income without institutional support £25.00

VSSN's preferred payment method is a credit or debit card. Payments are taken using Worldpay's secure service, no card details are held by VSSN.

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