• Sharon Clancy was Head of Community Partnerships at the University of Nottingham, the unit which promotes and supports community and public engagement, until December 2013. She held his post at the University for 6 years. Prior to that, Sharon was CEO of Mansfield CVS for 7 years, a local infrastructure charity supporting all third sector organisations in Mansfield, North Notts. She also led on user and carer engagement prior o becoming CEO, within health and social care structures, and set up the national network Involve for similar posts within the third sector. Before that she was a Senior Lecturer and Education Advisor in disability issues at Sheffield Hallam University, working with SKILL, the National Bureau or Students with

    Disabilities, both nationally and internationally, as well as working extensively in the third sector. In 2011 she completed an MA thesis focusing on the role of the university in promoting social justice through student activism and public/community engagement, for which she won the annual Eaton Hall prize. A Cambridge graduate in English Literature, Sharon has since moved into the fields of psychology and health and social care, third sector leadership and community engagement and has taught in these subjects within Higher Education. Her current PhD is examining short-term residential adult education in war period, with the Shropshire the post Adult Education College at Attingham Park (1948 – 76) as its primary focus. This is a synthesis of her previous research interests and personal background. She is currently a trustee with ARVAC -and with the Raymond Williams Foundation.

  • Professor John Diamond is the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Professional Practice at Edge Hill University. In 2014 he contributed to the Voluntary Sector North West Report – Devolution , Our Devolution and in 2015 he was invited to give the Annual Keib Thomas Memorial Lecture in London. He is currently the national chair of the Association for Research with Voluntary and Community Organisations (ARVAC) and an independent director of the Lancashire based consortium Greater Together. He has had extensive experience of working as an evaluator for a range of agencies (including the Youth Justice Board, the Cheshire Children’s Fund, a number of regeneration agencies , the NHS, national charities and regional voluntary sector organisations). In 2014 he was a co-researcher on a national study funded by the Webb Memorial Trust which examined the role of Fairness Commissions and is working on a follow up study . He is co-editor of an annual series – Critical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management (published by Emerald) and is co-editor of the Sage journal Teaching Public Administration.

  • Katy Goldstraw supports the board of trustees as a volunteer for ARVAC and plays a significant role in making publications like this possible. Katy is also PhD student researching the effects of austerity on the VCS in Greater Manchester. Katy is passionate about participatory, feminist research and is currently developing a assets based evaluation tool with the VCS of Greater Manchester. Alongside her research Katy teaches at Edge Hill and Manchester Metropolitan Universities, specialising in social justice, youth and community studies. Outside of work Katy is a keen runner and swimmer often competing in events to fundraise for her favourite overseas charity, Brighter Future International

  • Charles Knight undertakes research and consultancy into the digital economy with an emphasis on how organisations and individuals can and will adapt to disruption to existing service provision. Without a public sector context, he is interested in how social media can be used to promote and influence outcomes. He is currently employed as a Senior Lecturer in Management at Edge Hill University Business School.

  • Sarah Menzies is a consultant with NCVO Charities Evaluation Services. She specialises in supporting voluntary sector organisations to build their capacity in evaluation. This is done through training, consultancy and specialised group support.

    Prior to this, she designed and taught on an accredited community research programme for a refugee and migrant support charity, the Evelyn Oldfield Unit.

    Before moving to London, she held a research post with Strathclyde university supporting a network of voluntary organisations across Scotland with action-based research projects and community development.

    She is a mixed methods researcher but has expertise on action research, empowering /inclusive research and working with marginalised communities.

  • Nick Ockenden is a freelance social researcher and evaluator, with clients including the Big Lottery Fund, Sport England, and Charity Job. Previously he was Head of Research at NCVO where he oversaw a programme of research exploring all aspects of the voluntary sector and volunteering. This included outputs such as the UK Civil Society Almanac, the annual Voluntary Sector and Volunteering research conference, and the work of the Institute for Volunteering Research. Nick is particularly interested in the role and functioning of grassroots, volunteer-led organisations, particularly those working in the environment and conservation area. 

  • Kevin is the Office and Projects Manager at Voluntary Action Camden and editor of the Governance website ‘Governance Pages’.  He is a trustee of a local charity, a national campaign group and a small international NGO, as well as board member of ARVAC – the Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector. Publications include contributing to the Board Answer Book (NCVO, 2005), A Lighter Touch (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2002), When the Going Gets Tough (Media Trust video 2005), editor of the 3rd Edition of the Good Trustee Guide (NCVO 2000).  He was a member of the reference committee that developed the National Occupational Standards for Trustees. He teaches the course ‘Governance in the Voluntary Sector’ that was developed from the Occupational Standards.

  • Matthew Scott is a Community Development specialist and academic currently working in a number of roles, including as a Policy Manager at London Voluntary Service Council and lecturer at London Metropolitan University and Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Matthew is a Director of the Community Sector Coalition which is a national network community sector organisations.  Between 1996 and 2008 he worked in a community development role in South East London, including management of the Lewisham Community Empowerment Network.  Prior to this he worked in the North East and Midlands in a number of roles including as an advice worker, volunteer co-ordinator and manager in several workers co-operatives.  

    Matthew is a board member of the Community Development Journal and a founder member of the Community Development Network London and has a PhD on the role of community development in relation to New Labour’s modernising local government agenda.

  • David supports ARVAC as editor of the newsletter and helping to spread the word of community research as wide as possible. With over 10 years professional experience in the charity sector and postgraduate qualifications in charity fundraising, David is extremely passionate about using research to help improve voluntary and community activities. As Head of Fundraising and Communications at Bliss, David works to increase income and awareness to help support the thousands of babies born sick or premature in the UK every year.