Book Now

Book places

Professor Chris Dayson Inaugural Lecture

11 Sep 2023 18:00 - 20:30

What’s the real value of voluntary action? Voluntary action – a catch-all term for the work of voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises - plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of people and communities. But do we really know what its value is? And do we even agree?

Should voluntary action benefit individuals, communities, the public sector, or the economy, and which of these is most important? How can we measure the value of voluntary action and what does this mean for research and policymaking?

In this lecture, Professor Chris Dayson will draw upon his vast experience and research to answer these questions. Taking the social prescribing policy agenda as a real-world example, he will argue that valuing the public sector and economic benefits over those for individuals and communities is holding back the growth and sustainability of voluntary action.

For change to happen, Chris will suggest alternative, more holistic ways of understanding and measuring value.

Additional Information

Chris’ research focuses on local voluntary and community action and the contribution it makes to health and wellbeing. He is a leading international expert on the topic of social prescribing and part of the National Academy for Social Prescribing's 'Academic Collaborative'. Chris works within Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) and the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).

Here, he leads a portfolio of research and evaluation projects for local and national public sector bodies, voluntary sector organisations and charitable funders. Chris’ work is proven to have had an impact on local, national and international policy and practice

Event Schedule

  • 18:00 Arrival
  • 18:30 Professorial Lecture and Q&A
  • 19:30 Drinks reception
  • 20:30 Event close