Community Research Partnership Created
Published by Dawn Prentice for Dawn Prentice Communications in Communities and also in Education, Environment, Health, Housing
The Centre for Community Research (CfCR) and research consultants M-E-L Research have teamed up to create a new community research partnership for the Midlands. CfCR is a Midlands-based research and learning enterprise providing fresh perspectives on the needs, development and aspirations of communities, supporting the rapidly evolving role of the third sector, including housing associations, community-based organisations, charities, social enterprise and mutuals.
M-E-L Research, a long-established research and consultancy practice, is supporting the not-for-profit CfCR which is based at M-E-L’s offices on Aston Science Park in Birmingham. Together they combine unparalleled knowledge and bring together technical excellence and business focus with social purpose and enterprise. Housing research is a growing activity with a series of projects delivered for Midlands housing organisations.
CfCR was created in 2009 and has since provided research services to a wide range of organisations including regeneration partnerships, housing associations, voluntary and community agencies. It has also helped build community capacity through action research and training local people in research skills. M-E-L Research is approaching 30 years of success and is one of the Midlands’ primary and longstanding research consultancies for the public and third sectors.
CfCR Chair Kevin Gulliver said: 'Traditionally, social housing and third sector research and consultancy services have been provided either by commercial consultancies or academic institutions. By pooling our expertise CfCR and M-E-L Research have fashioned a distinctive collaborative venture. Exploring what identity, neighbourhood and citizenship mean in the 21st Century, our partnership will promote the merits of evidence-based research, information analysis and policy development in housing, voluntary and community settings. We need reliable research evidence to underpin the ‘Big Society’ and localism.’’
M-E-L Research Chief Executive Dr. Bob Pocock said: ‘Collaboration with like-minded partners has been a key success factor in M-E-L Research’s three decades of research delivery so our formal partnership with CfCR is a natural extension of our historic approach. The voluntary, community and social housing sectors are increasingly vital parts of a healthy and cohesive society. But their continuing contributions to the economy and society need to be under-pinned by both robust research and the social values that define the voluntary and community sectors. As a commercial research consultancy, we are delighted to help support a pioneering social enterprise partner like CfCR. Together M-E-L Research and CfCR can produce much sharper insights and impactful results than either can generate alone.’