Steering group

The overall role of the Discourses of Voluntary Action Steering Group is to help oversee the general course of the project and to offer advice and guidance on all stages of its work. Its specific roles are to:

  • Ensure that the research is informed by the best available knowledge of third sector research, policy and practice;
  • Advise on the design and delivery of the research;
  • Help to ensure timely access to the archives and contemporary documents of each of the study organisations;
  • Help to identify and access key policy documents relating to the specific fields included within the study (i.e. children’s services; young people; older people; voluntary sector);
  • Act as advocates for the project both within members own organisations and across their networks;
  • Help identify and address potential issues for investigation;
  • Act as a sounding board for emerging research findings;
  • Contribute to the identification of implications and recommendations;
  • To advise on outputs, dissemination and impact activities;
  • To support the research through facilitating access to networks of contacts.



The Steering Group comprises representatives from the case study organisations and a range of other stakeholders, including practitioners, academics and infrastructure organisations, as follows:

  • Sarah Aitchison, Head of Archives, Records and Special Collections, UCL
  • Kate Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Social History, University of Kent
  • Justin Davis Smith, Senior Lecturer, City, University of London
  • Kathy Evans, Chief Executive, Children England
  • Veronique Jochum, Research Manager, NCVO
  • Angela Kitching, Age UK
  • Kirsty Pattrick, Project Officer, Mass Observation, University of Sussex
  • Susanne Rauprich, Former Chief Executive of NCVYS
  • Marilyn Taylor, Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London (CHAIR)
  • Kayleigh Wainwright, Head of Engagement and Advocacy, UK Youth
    Dan Wincott, Blackwell Professor of Law and Society, Cardiff University