The 'Voluntary Organisations: Citizenship, Learning and Change' study, instituted by TheUniversity of Nottingham's Department of Education, began in 1989. Its purpose was to construct atypology of local voluntary organisations by: investigating the formal and informal educationalimpact which they made on individuals, groups and communities; noting the origins andcharacteristics of good practice; and putting forward recommendations on the implications fornational and local policy and for training and development.
The study was divided into two parts: a national survey of a sample 31 case studies of localvoluntary organisations involving the completion of 831 interviews and 157 questionnaires; and aquestionnaire-based locality study of 101 voluntary organisations in the Nottinghamshire town ofRetford.
The findings of the study were published in three main works: K.T. Elsdon with John Reynolds andSusan Stewart Voluntary Organisations: Citizenship, Learning and Change (National Instituteof Adult Continuing Education and The University of Nottingham, Department of Adult Education;1995), K.T. Elsdon Adult Learning and Voluntary Organisations, in three volumes covering thecase studies 1-30 (The University of Nottingham Department of Adult Education; 1991), and JohnReynolds, K.T. Elsdon and Susan Stewart A Town in Action (The University of NottinghamDepartment of Adult Education; 1994).
The study was partly funded by the Economic and Science Research and Social Science Council(ESRC). Electronic datasets of the study's findings were prepared by Dr John Reynolds of theDepartment of Adult Education and submitted for preservation to the UK Data Archive which is also part funded by ESRC.