• This is Jayne’s second spell as a trustee of ARVAC but her first time as chair.

    Jayne is the Head of Research and Learning at Local Trust where she develops and manages the evaluation of the Big Local programme and leads on research on the future of community development.

    Jayne has over 25 years’ experience of working with communities and the voluntary and community sector. Previous to her role at Local Trust she worked for Haringey Association of Voluntary and Community Organisations (HAVCO) – the council of voluntary service for the London borough of Haringey. At HAVCO Jayne managed services for members and the volunteer centre.

    Prior to this, Jayne led on research and evaluation at the Community Development Foundation.

  • 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.

  • Sharon is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and teaches modules on the BA Sociology, BA Criminology and MA Public Sociology. She is the Department of Sociology’s co-lead (with Andrea Lyons-Lewis) for Service Learning.  This involves working with a wide range of local not-for-private profit organisations on social justice action and research projects with second year and post graduate students.  She is currently working in partnership with a local charity researching work and employment in Nottingham and with Nottingham City Council on their social cohesion activities. Alongside her higher education career Sharon has worked in the adult and community education sector as a practitioner and at a strategic level, regionally and nationally. She endeavours to bring those values and practices cherished in adult education to her work in higher education.

  • 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.

  • Andreja is a Senior Researcher at the McPin Foundation, a charity working to transform mental health research by putting the lived experience of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of the research agenda. Previously, she worked as a researcher and project manager in several London-based refugee and migrant community organisations. In 2015-16, she taught a Research for Action and Influence course at the Evelyn Oldfield Unit, accredited at level 3 by the Open College Network. The course aimed to develop research skills of refugees and migrants working in the community sector. She has also collaborated with Middlesex University (2014-15) on a study looking at voluntary sector support available to women experiencing maternal mental health distress and with the University of Greenwich (2017-present) on a digital storytelling project about polygamy in the UK. Her PhD in anthropology explored women’s experiences of Islamic revival in Bosnia.

  • 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. 

  • Professor Fiona Poland is a sociologist and community researcher at the University of East Anglia (UEA).  She has been a long-term member of ARVAC, has twice been Chair and is now a Trustee. She leads the UEA Inclusion Research theme and co-leads a Public and Patient Involvement Research theme for the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East of England (CLAHRC EoE). Her qualitative research addresses community wellbeing through supporting Older peoples’ agency and promotes cross-sector collaborations especially in dementia. She is Editor of the journal Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.

  • 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.

  • 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.