Nominations for Steering Group and Editorial Management Board 2020

 VSSN Steering Group and Editorial Management Board

Self-nomination Forms – 2020

VSSN members are warmly invited to nominate themselves for election to the Steering Group of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, and/or to the Editorial Management Board. For more information, see here. All nominations must be received by 5pm on 23rd October 2020.

If an election is required for either committee, it will be conducted by online ballot and the results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on 20th November 2020.

How to nominate yourself:

  • please paste the form below into a Word document and save with your name in the title
  • email the form by 5pm on Friday 23rd October 2020 to

If you have any questions please contact or phone 01724 710819.

Steering Group

1. Personal details
Title:   First name:   Surname:  
Address for correspondence:  





2. Eligibility
Please answer the following questions to confirm that you are not disqualified from

acting as a Trustee under the terms of the constitution:

Are you aged 18 or over? YES □ NO □
Are you resident in the UK? YES □ NO □
Have you ever been convicted of an (unspent) criminal offence involving fraud or dishonesty? YES □ NO □
Have you ever been made bankrupt and not been discharged (or compounded with your creditors)? YES □ NO □
Have you ever been removed by the Charity Commissioners from office as a charity trustee? YES □ NO □
Have you ever been subject to a disqualification order under the Company Directors Act 1986 or Insolvency Act 1986? YES □ NO □


3. Election Statement
Please provide a brief statement (no more than 250 words) explaining why you wish to be elected to the Steering Group and outlining the skills, attributes, and experiences you would bring to the role. Should an election be required, this statement will be made available to all members of VSSN.



















4. Declaration
I confirm that I wish to stand for election to the Steering Group of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network. If elected, I will seek to advance the objects and undertake the duties of a Steering Group member as laid down by the VSSN Constitution. As a trustee, I understand that I am entitled to reimbursements of expenses (subject to funds available) but that I can not undertake any paid work for VSSN.






Please save the completed form and send it as an email attachment to by 5pm on Friday 23rd October 2020.


Voluntary Sector Review Editorial Management Board

1. Personal details
Title:   First name:   Surname:  
Address for correspondence:  





2.  Election statement
Please provide a brief statement (no more than 250 words) explaining why you wish to be elected to the VSR Editorial Management Board and outlining the skills, attributes, and experiences you would bring to the role. This statement will be made available to all members of VSSN.


















3.  Declaration
I confirm that I wish to stand for election to the Editorial Management Board of Voluntary Sector Review.  If elected, I will seek to advance the objects and undertake the duties of an Editorial Management Board member as set out in the section of the Publisher’s Agreement reproduced at the end of this form.






Please save the completed form and send it as an email attachment to by Friday 23rd October 2020.


Responsibilities of the Editorial Management Board

  1. The Editorial Management Board shall represent the VSSN in working with the Publisher to publish the journal.
  1. The Editorial Management Board shall consist of six elected members and the Editorial Team. Members will be elected by the VSSN membership commencing with the first elections in Autumn 2009.
  1. Members of the Editorial Management Board shall be elected for three years, and may stand for re-election at the end of their period of office. Membership shall be terminable by mutual agreement between the Editorial Management Board, the Board member and the Publisher. Initially the terms of office of individual Editorial Management Board members shall be varied to allow for a rolling renewal and replacement programme in future.
  1. All editorial positions shall be fixed for a period of three years, terminable, renewable or extendable only by mutual agreement between the Editorial Management Board, the Editorial Team member and the Publisher.
  1. The Editorial Team shall be appointed by the Publisher following proposals by the Editorial Management Board. Editorial Team members do not have to be VSSN members at the time of appointment although membership upon appointment would be strongly recommended.
  1. The Editorial Management Board is responsible for ensuring that high editorial standards are met, that the Editorial Team supplies electronically to the Publisher sufficient material to produce each issue as determined in the Publisher’s Agreement and in accordance with the required schedules, that an appropriate Editorial Advisory Board is maintained and that the Editorial Team works to the Publisher’s Agreement.


Success of our first on line Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference

Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research e-Conference 2020

For two days over 7th-8th September the annual Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research (VSVR) Conference was held online. For more than 20 years the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has partnered with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) to run this conference and this year the Birmingham Voluntary Sector Centre for Voluntary Action (BVSC) also joined this collaborative effort.

The theme of this first e-conference was ‘‘Times like these’: Researching civil society responses to and recovery from COVID-19’ and we were really pleased at the response from practitioners and academics presenting up-to-date research on the current situation and recovery from the pandemic. The programme comprised two plenaries and two sessions on each of four themes, a session with the Editors of Voluntary Sector Review and two book launches.

Professor Tracey Coule and Associate Professor Chris Dayso launched the conference by considering theoretical frames to consider civil society’s responses to Covid-19. Themes that emerged included the way we frame civil society-government relationships and mutual aid groups, which indeed became recurring themes throughout the conference. These themes, as well as how civil society organisations have reformed and changed their practice, were also carried forward to the plenary on Day 2 with presentations by Karl Wilding (NCVO)   Anna Fowlie (Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations) Brian Carr (BVSC) & Affan Cheema (Islamic Relief Worldwide). Carolyn Cordery who chaired the session ably assisted by Jon Dean.

A focus on volunteer mobilisation to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic brought papers from England, Scotland, Wales and British Columbia. And, while much mobilisation depends on organisations, the pandemic has seen returns to neighbourly volunteering and the geography of voluntary action being disrupted. The second volunteering session focused more on the experience of volunteering during the pandemic, from volunteer and organisational perspectives .

Philanthropy, fundraising and funding issues were the topic of session 1a and to some extent the cross-cutting issues in Session 3b. The research presented in these sessions was very varied, considering issues such as financial vulnerability and good grant making, the effects of furloughing on fundraisers, as well as governance, the role of local infrastructure and how social services data can help researchers understand Covid-19 responses.

As Covid-19 has had such a huge impact on society, it was unsurprising that two sessions discussed research taking ‘micro, meso and macro perspectives’ on voluntary organisations and Covid-19. Again with papers from England and Scotland, these sessions considered responses from local and national organisations working with homelessness, criminal justice, poverty and community businesses, as well as highlighting the lived experience of people.

Picking up the theme of mutual aid, two sessions considered both the conceptual insights and those from the frontline. These focussed on such issues as democratic participation, the influence of international responses on local mutual aid groups, neighbourhoods and umbrella organisations.

While we missed being able to chat to each other and presenters physically, as we would have done in a physical conference, the e-conference was a great experience and opportunity to share cutting edge research with a wider range of people than would otherwise have been possible, both engaging people who are physically distant from the UK and through social media. The sessions were recorded and can be found at: The next VSVR Conference is scheduled for 6th-7th September 2021 in Birmingham. We hope to see you there!






Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) AGM & Online Day Conference, 20th November 2020, 12:15

Volunteering in Health and Social Care in the context of COVID-19: making a difference in a complex landscape of rising demand.

VSSN’s next day conference will take place on 20th November 2020, hosted by the Institute for Volunteering Research at University of East Anglia in Norwich. We will explore volunteering in health and social care in the context of COVID-19, considering the opportunities and challenges encountered in a complex landscape of rising demand and the difference volunteering makes.

Pressures are growing on volunteer-involving organisations, locally based community organisations and social enterprises to respond to increasing and diverse demands for volunteers to provide health and social care services in the context of COVID-19. These range from national campaigns to recruit large numbers of new volunteers for a variety of new tasks and settings, to the need for social prescribing and increased community involvement.

This day conference specifically aims to explore:

  • the current context of volunteering in health and social care,
  • the current policy drivers
  • new and innovative approaches now being promoted to deal with demand,
  • what difference volunteering makes to health and social care, volunteers, volunteer involving organisations and wider society.


We will invite speakers who have submitted abstracts to the postponed day conference. We will also invite two speaker to further contextualise their contributions. This means there will be no further call for abstracts. The format of the event will mirror the sessions at this years VSVR conference, albeit with fewer speakers per session.


12:15 – 12:45                Annual General Meeting

12:45 – 13:00                Participants log in

13:00 – 13:10                Welcome and Introduction (Ali Body)

13:10 – 14:00                Two presentations and questions from chat room

14:00 – 14:30                Break

14:30 – 15:20                Two presentations and questions from chat room

15:20 – 15:30                Short Break

15:30 – 15:50                Speaker Panel with questions from chat room

15:50 – 16:00                Closing and Thank you.

Bookings are now open and we will confirm attendance with full programme in week commencing 2nd November.

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.



Steering Group elections 2020

Opportunities to become more involved with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network and Voluntary Sector Review 

Would you like to support the work of VSSN more actively? Do you have ideas about how you’d like to see the network develop?

If so, please consider nominating yourself for a place on either or both of:

  • the VSSN Steering Group
  • the Editorial Management Board of Voluntary Sector Review, the journal produced by VSSN with Policy Press.

VSSN is a volunteer-led organisation and its success relies very much on the commitment, time and energy of members of these two groups. 

VSSN Steering Group (SG)

This year there are three vacancies on the Steering Group.

The term of office is normally three years in the first instance. The maximum term allowed by the constitution is six consecutive years. Being a member of the Steering Group means also becoming a trustee of the VSSN.

Specific roles on the Steering Group are allocated by agreement after the election. Roles include Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and leading on, for example, membership and marketing, day seminars and the annual conference.

What are we looking for in a member of the SG? Commitment to VSSN and its continued success is the most important quality, but this year we are also keen to encourage self-nominations from members with skills/experience in accountancy/ numeric analysis, event organization and membership development.    We also want to improve the diversity of the Steering Group and would welcome interest from under represented groups who can bring lived experience which may be of value to our Network.

Details of existing Steering Group members and their roles can be found at VSR Editorial Management Board (EMB)

This year there are two vacancies for the VSR Editorial Management Board (EMB). The term of office is three years in the first instance, with an opportunity to stand for another three-year term.

The role of the EMB is to:

  • support the editorial team (currently Daiga Kamerade, Carl Milofsky and James Rees)
  • ensure that high editorial standards are maintained
  • represent VSSN in working with the publisher, Policy Press
  • ensure the journal is produced in accordance with the Publisher’s Agreement.

Additional roles

If you would like to be more involved but don’t want to join the Steering Group or Editorial Management Board, there are other voluntary roles which are equally valuable and help us develop our networks and activities. For example, we are currently looking for:

  • people to join our ‘small grants committee’
  • people to join a new team we are setting up to help shortlist the best paper award at next year’s Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference
  • a volunteer to moderate the VSSN email discussion list – an important role but not an onerous one which would only take a few minutes of your time each week and full training will be available if required.

If you are interested in finding out more about any of these roles please contact Jane Cullingworth on You must be a current member of VSSN.

If you have any questions about the self-nomination process or would like a copy of a nomination form, you can find the forms here (please complete the forms by pasting into a word document and sending by email) or please contact us by email via We look forward to receiving your nomination forms soon. Nominations close on Friday 23rd October.

Agenda for Emotion and Feelings in Voluntary Sector Work seminar: Thursday, 22nd October.

Emotion and Feelings in Voluntary Sector Work

(supported by a VSSN development grant)

Seminar 1: 10.15am – 3.30pm, 22nd October 2020


Speakers with discussion and questions in each session


Free at the point of delivery! For students, researchers, practitioners, activists


To receive Zoom details please register your interest on:


10.15 Networking and coffee (bring your own!)


10.30 Welcome and Introductions


11.00 Session 1 keynote speaker and Q&A: Emotions in Managing Volunteers

Keynote speaker: ‘Emotions in Managing Volunteers’ and toolkit ‘Working with Volunteers’ developed with the National Trust.

Professor Anne-Marie Greene, University of Leicester School of Business




11.45 Session 2 presentations and Q&A: Leadership and emotions in voluntary sector work

‘Building workplace democracy: leadership as embodied dissent’

Conor Twyford, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation


‘Women Leaders and Philanthropy’  Paper and Panel discussion

Rachel McGrath, Northamptonshire Community Foundation


12.45 Lunch


13.15 Session 3 presentations and Q&A: Volunteering and emotions in the voluntary sector

‘Frustrated by ‘moaning members’: a study of volunteers in associational golf clubs’ Chris Mills, Manchester Metropolitan University


‘Emergency volunteers: how to help those who help us’

Craig Needham, H M Coastguard and Bournemouth University


‘Examining the motivations and emotions linked to the formation of a Voluntary sewing group formed in response to Covid-19’.

Beverley Glibert, University of Worcester


2.15 Break


2.25 Session 4: Stories and place in the voluntary sector

‘Storytelling, Strategies, and Success: The Case of the Reproductive Rights Movement in Ireland’


Dr. Sheila Cannon, Alexandra Lamb and, Dr. Paloma Raggo, Trinity College Dublin, Carleton University, Carleton University


‘What is it like to volunteer? A Phenomenological insight, investigating the relationship between volunteers and their organisations.’

Carol Hebden and Dr Paul McDonald, Newman University




What next?




Voluntary Sector Review Call for Research Notes: COVID-19 and voluntary sector

Call for Research Notes

COVID-19 and voluntary sector

Voluntary Sector Review (VSR) invites original research notes on COVID-19 and voluntary sector for a rapid publication in early 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered many aspects of voluntary sector: disruption to normal life, social distancing and lockdown measures, furlough, job losses and economic crisis have profoundly affected how voluntary sector organisations operate and individuals’ volunteering and donating behavior both in short- and long-term. There is an unprecedented and immediate need for up to date evidence and new theoretical understanding of the current situation, yet the scientific research and publication of findings as a full paper can take a long time. To address this need, Voluntary Sector Review is experimenting with research notes as a new format of publication. We invite scholars from across the globe to submit short research notes on their ongoing research related to COVID-19 and voluntary sector. We are looking for research notes with promising empirical research findings as well as theoretical discussions that help to understand the potential consequences of the current COVID-19 pandemic for voluntary sector. We seek research notes that make a clear and original contribution.

The research notes can include research outputs that cannot be considered as full research or methodology articles. For example, but not exclusively, they can present intriguing initial and/or time-sensitive results and observations,  advance a new idea, theoretical perspective or methodological approach, describe new data available for other scholars or publish a brief summary of a study that is usually difficult to publish (e.g. with non-significant results).

Submission deadline is October 30th, 2020. We invite research notes of short to medium length (2,000 to 4,000 words). Research notes may follow a less strict paper structure than full papers but still need to make a valuable contribution to the study of voluntary sector.  They must have an abstract and must use referencing and follow VSR manuscript formatting guidelines. Please type ‘Research Note’ at the top of your manuscript, then submit it through Editorial Manager, as a ‘Research article’.  All research notes will undergo a fast track peer-review. A selection of 3-5 notes will be published in March 2021 issue and the rest scheduled for publication in next issues.

For pre-submission queries, prospective contributors are encouraged to contact the corresponding editor Dr. Daiga Kamerāde:

Online forum for new researchers – How to disseminate your research findings

Online forum for new researchers – How to disseminate your research findings

Thursday, September 24 from 1-2pm   

Our next session for new researchers will focus on ways to disseminate research findings beyond journal and book publication – this will include social media, blogs, posters, videos and building networks.  This will be an open forum for new researchers in the field of voluntary studies and voluntary action hosted by Vita Terry, Jon Dean and Jane Cullingworth from VSSN’s steering group.  We have two fabulous speakers:

Please note, you do not need to be a member of VSSN to participate – however, we do encourage you to join VSSN.  VSSN is a membership driven organisation that relies on its members for support.  Membership offers a number of benefits and is on a sliding scale; you can find out more here.

Zoom link:

Please contact Jane Cullingworth at for more information.

Voluntary Sector Review supports eConference with access to free journal content!

Thanks to Policy Press, the following Voluntary Sector Review Editors’ Choice articles are free to access until 31 January 2021, in support of our eConference arranged for 7th and 8th September 2020.

The food insecurity section of our Living in a COVID-19 economy collection features four VSR articles on the topic of food banks.

This is free to read until 31 October.

We have also made the themed section: Re-reading civil society action for environmental sustainability free to read until 31 October.

Find out more about Voluntary Sector Review and how to submit an article here:



Emotions and feelings in voluntary sector work: Explorations from research and practice  

Call for papers for the first seminar to be held on 10.30am – 4.00pm, 22nd October 2020

 We are grateful for a small grant from the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) to organise a series of events we are running from autumn 2020 on the role of emotions and feelings within voluntary sector work: in community, voluntary, social enterprise or co-operative settings. This may be in the UK, elsewhere in Europe or the world.

About the seminar series

This series seeks to bring together the community, social and psychological realm. The aim of these seminars is to explore the effect and role of emotions and feelings in the Voluntary Sector. Seminars will address this by considering cross-over issues through informed discussion, gaining perspectives from speakers with professional knowledge and co-learning through small group work, involving practitioner experience and research insights. These can later lead to articles, blogs or web posts in academic or practitioner journals. You are welcome to come as a participant or presenter.

Location and on-line

The three seminars will be in Preston (10.30am – 4.00pm, 22nd October 2020), Bristol or south west (March 2021) and London (June 2021). In view of current restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus, all three events will happen on-line and include a mixture including face-to-face events if, or when, Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

To register your place at the first seminar on the 22nd October please complete the form on Eventbrite as numbers are limited.

How to keep in touch

If you have any questions the seminars please contact the initial planning group now: Dr Mike Aiken (Brighton), Dr Vita Terry (London) and Dr Julian Manley (Preston)

Guide to submitting a proposa

1. Aims and initial themes

The aims of these seminars are to encourage joint work and the sharing of insights between the sometimes separate arenas of the social (community, voluntary, social enterprise, co-operative work) with the psychological (the affective realm of emotions and feelings).

Attention to the psychological and the social is also important for workers and volunteers operating in tough urban/ rural communities facing daily anxiety in fragile organisations. The daily stresses and tensions of managers facing tough work, performance targets and disadvantaged communities may present splitting denial and other defences as survival strategies. For example, the entrepreneurial founder of a much praised project may feel locked into a role where their exit may lead to project closure. Trustees can face decisions that conflict with their values and beliefs.

2. Intended participants

2.1     Researchers, practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers and funders engaged in the Community, Voluntary and Co-operative sector (CVC sector – including voluntary, community, social enterprise or co-operative action).

2.2     People active in social, psychosocial or critical perspectives related to the affective realm – of feelings and emotions – within local communities.

2.3     Foundations, funders and local policy makers.

3. About your theme and contribution

Your contribution to the day seminars could be presenting a paper; organising a panel of speakers; facilitating a discussion, workshop or roundtable; analysing a particular situation. You can also contribute as a participant without presenting

Your theme may be a starting question/puzzle or dilemma; or a link to a theoretical framework or debate or contemporary or historical situation, or a cross-disciplinary insight, or international perspective that links to voluntary, community, social enterprise or co-operative action.

You may wish to start by exploring a key topic/puzzle/dilemma relating to work you have been involved in, or affecting practitioners or contemporary practice within voluntary, community, social enterprise or co-operative action.

Participants are welcome to draw from different disciplinary backgrounds (social theory, sociology, psychology or therapeutic studies, women’s studies, post-colonial studies etc) as long as there is a link to voluntary, community, social enterprise or co-operative action.

4.  The format for the session 

Your contribution could be:

4.1     a presentation (with space for questions and discussion)

4.2     a panel with 2 or 3 speakers

4.3     a workshop or carousel format with participants moving between tables that    highlight different questions

4.4     a short informal 10 minute input on a key issue or vignette

4.5     any other format you wish to propose (please advise, or discuss with us).

Please note your panel, presentation, workshop or other format should also allow time for some discussion, interaction, or questions. In total your slot should be either 30 or 40 minutes (that includes at least 10 minutes for questions/discussion.  You can also propose a short 10 minute slot for presenting a key issue/dilemma that you have encountered in your work that you feel needs researching further.

5. Outcomes from the seminars

The outcomes from the seminars may develop during the series. These may include:

5.1     Plans for joint articles (academic but also practitioner journals or magazines (including Voluntary Sector Studies, Civil Society, Organisational and Social Dynamics); contributions to the VSSN annual conference in September 2021; and to VSSN day seminars

6. Ethical considerations and questions

The organisers are mindful of the sensitive nature of research and personal experience that may be shared within these seminars. Customary support practices and ethical procedures will therefore be adopted to offer safe and confidential spaces where appropriate.

7. Timings

If you would like to submit a proposal for the 22nd October please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr Mike Aiken: or Dr Vita Terry: The deadline for abstracts is the 1st September and we will aim to let you know if you are successful by the 24th September.


Development grant projects about to go live!

We are proud to announce the results of the latest round of development grants which are all described below and we encourage members and others to get in touch with those delivering the projects and to get involved.

Mike Aiken, Vita Terry and Julian Manley:  Emotions and feelings in voluntary sector work: Explorations from research and practice

We would like to thank VSSN for the small development grant we have been awarded which will support us to set up a series of events from autumn 2020 on the role of emotions and feelings within voluntary sector work. This series seeks to bring together the community, social and psychological realm. Several of us in VSSN and beyond have already been discussing these cross-disciplinary themes as they affect – or intersect with – our existing research. The aim of these seminars is to explore the cross-over issues through informed discussion, gaining insight from speakers with professional insight and co-learning through small group work, involving practitioner experience and research insights.

The three events will potentially be held in Preston (provisionally 20th or 22nd October 2020), Bristol or South West (March 2021) and London (June 2021). However, in light of the current restrictions due to Covid-19 we will hold a mix of on-line and face-to-face events if or when restrictions are lifted.

The initial planning group is composed of Dr Mike Aiken (Brighton), Dr Vita Terry (London) and Dr Julian Manley (Preston). We will set up a distribution list shortly but if you would like to be kept in touch, or contribute and suggest themes please contact us:

Dr Mike Aiken on or Dr Vita Terry on


Tot Foster, Open University:  Small charities use of video

There are so many barriers to small charities engaging with video, not the least lack of time and money. Yet the rewards can be great – enhancing social media presence, recording and communicating impact. This development grant will be spent on a day long training session for ten small charities in making no/low budget films. As part of her PhD Tot Foster developed a new design-based approach to video production, tailored to small charities. The feedback from the training will inform the next iteration of the production process which will then be converted into an online course such as a MOOC.  The training will be offered later this year to a network of London charities under the umbrella of the digital skills organisation Superhighways. If face to face is impossible then the grant offers an opportunity to deliver and evaluate an early version of the online course.


Philippa Davies, Cardiff University: Women leaders’ experiences of gender (in)equality in Welsh sport leadership

The main focus of my proposal is to share the results of my research, which examines women leaders’ experiences of gender (in)equality in Welsh sport leadership, back with the Welsh sport sector, and in particular, Welsh sport leaders. One of the main reasons I researched this topic, was to share anything useful back with the sector to hopefully help women and men sport leaders. I aim to share the results by creating a bi-lingual report which provides an overview of the results and also deliver seminars to present the results and answer any questions (either in person, or due to the current situation by webinar).

I hope to work with leaders within the sector to ensure as many sport leaders (both voluntary and paid), who would wish to, will be able to attend (whether in person or remotely). I am so excited to have the grant which means I can make sharing back the results a more impactful, professional and, hopefully, a useful process for the sport sector.