Research & Insight

The Young Foundation is a UKRI accredited Independent Research Organisation with extensive expertise in research into social innovation and inequality, with a long track record exploring topics like health and wellbeing, community, education, financial inclusion and place-making. We focus on participatory, ethnographic and deep qualitative work alongside quantitative research analysis.

We are also unusually practical. We want to change the way people think about society’s most pressing problems, who can solve them, and think creatively about how people work together to create stronger communities. We get out and about and really listen and interact with people rather than hiding behind our desks. By working closely with local community (peer) researchers who have intimate knowledge of the places we work, we also gain a richer sense of what people value in their lives and what their viewpoints are.

This means we often see things that others miss, which helps us bring a unique lens to seemingly entrenched issues.

Partner with us if you want to:

  • Understand what people in communities think, feel and experience and how that can foster sustained, community-led action
  • Find evidence of what has worked well when businesses, public institutions and communities work together
  • Commission research or evaluation projects that have a strong community dimension.
  • Join our network of community researchers focused on sharing evidence, insight and practice to support local and structural change.

We are actively seeking partners who have an interest in supporting projects which:

  • Explore and analyse the unmet needs (material and psycho-social) of people and communities across the UK
  • Increase the legitimacy of stories and lived experience of people and how this can influence policy and practice
  • Undertake participatory or ethnographic research in key areas across the UK, particularly where a local authority is facing insolvency
  • Explore the potential and role of arts-based organisations in driving positive social change
  • Analyse the state of the relationships between communities and local authorities across the UK today
  • Co-ordinate and analyse the body of evidence and practice about increasing community connectedness and cohesion.

Contact our Director of Research Victoria Boelman at