23 Sep 2021

Continuity and Change: The role of volunteers in community businesses

Community businesses help make places better in a real way. From saving local shops and creating leisure facilities to providing training opportunities for local people and helping to build affordable housing. Yet none of this would be possible without the contribution of volunteers, who not only give their time but also keep these businesses firmly rooted in the communities they serve.

In partnership with Power to Change, the trust that backs community businesses in England, the Institute for Community Studies is delighted to present our September 2021 roundtable that brought together community business leaders, researchers, policymakers and sector experts to discuss three major new reports commissioned by Power to Change.

The event was chaired by Dr Justin Davis Smith, former Chief Executive of Volunteering England and Director of the Institute for Volunteering Research, with a panel discussion including:

  • Karl Murray, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation, The Ubele Initiative
  • Joy Johnston, Deputy Director, Volunteering & Tackling Loneliness, DCMS
  • Paul Reddish, CEO, Volunteering Matters
  • Richard Wilson, Director, OSCA

In April 2021, the Institute for Community Studies was appointed as strategic research partner to Power to Change. We support their mission to strengthen community businesses to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges at a local level, including the three biggest challenges of our time: climate change, digital transformation and social inequalities.