The Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector (ARVAC) was established in 1978. It is a membership organisation and acts as a resource for people interested in research in or on community organisations.

We believe that voluntary and community organisations play a vital role in creating and sustaining healthy communities, and that research plays an essential role in increasing the effectiveness of those organisations involved in voluntary and community action.

Aims and Values

ARVAC believes that:

  • healthy, diverse and inclusive communities make a fundamental contribution to people’s quality of life and living conditions
  • healthy communities are created and sustained by the activities of effective local organisations and groups
  • research has a major role to play in promoting supporting, and developing the work of local organisations and groups by such means as:

developing awareness of the valuable role played by community organisations

informing and improving the ways in which community organisations are led and managed

informing policy-makers of the ways in which the work community organisations can be encouraged and supported

participation in the research process and access to its products should be freely and widely available and not restricted to academics and other professional researchers


ARVAC aims to:

  • act as a resource to people interested in research in or on community organisations
  • promote and help develop effective and appropriate forms of research in or on community organisations
  • encourage and facilitate networking and collaboration between people undertaking work in this field
  • ensure that the findings of research in and on community organisations are made available to policy-makers at all levels
  • play a role in identifying gaps in knowledge of the community sector and the need for further research.

ARVAC Anti-Racist Statement. We are an organisation entirely run by volunteers, membership is free and there are no restrictions on joining. With a mission to bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers we have supported community groups to do research themselves, even with limited time and resources, for over 40 years.

We strive to uphold anti-racist values and we recognise the impact of race hatred and race hate crime. The evidence of ongoing and systemic racism has caused us to challenge ourselves to take action, acknowledging our individual and collective responsibility to tackle racism and discrimination wherever we find it. We realise that we can and should do more.

Therefore, we will

  • seek to be a more diverse, inclusive organisation by actively being involved with underrepresented people and supporting individuals from under represented groups to make a full contribution as members of ARVAC;
  • clearly express our commitment to co-production and to opening our networks as widely as possible;
  • ensure that all our outputs, in particular, our webinars and lectures have representation from diverse groups and present diverse positions;
  • ensure that a proportionate number of our activities and outputs are focussed directly on challenging racism and discrimination.

We will include an evaluation of how we achieve against these objectives in our annual reporting.


Memorandum and Articles of Association

Memorandum of Association

Articles of Association

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