Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Social Capital in a Volunteering Project for Care Leavers

GMCVO researcher Susanne Martikke is the lead author of a paper in the journal Children and Society about how a Greater Manchester-based volunteering project for care leavers facilitated the formation of social capital of different types and at many levels.

The paper draws on the data collected as part of an evaluation that GMCVO conducted in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) from 2014-2015, commissioned by Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN). The organisation had obtained one year’s funding from the Cabinet Office Vulnerable and Disengaged Young People Fund, some of which had to be spent on evaluating the project. Susanne used existing connections with researchers at MMU to put together a research team for this evaluation. She worked with Lucy Webb, Nigel Cox and Holly Cumbers from MMU’s Department of Nursing to generate a mixed methods research design in collaboration with GMYN staff members Emma Gedzielewski and Maryam Duale. GMYN input ensured that the data collection tools were suitable for young people and could easily be integrated into service delivery. Susanne coordinated the research team and led on the qualitative data collection and analysis throughout the year.

The evaluation findings helped GMYN with securing additional funding for continuing what proved to be a successful programme. Equally importantly, the evaluation findings also helped GMYN with refining their project delivery, because the evaluation identified what worked well and what could be improved.

The abstract for the paper is available here. Please email Susanne directly at for a link to the full article.