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Two leading UK charities to benefit from new research collaboration on Understanding Society data


Two leading UK charities, Mind and The Family and Childcare Trust, have been selected to work in collaboration with researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex on new research using Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, under its Third Sector Voucher Scheme.

The Scheme was created to help charities to gather research evidence to inform policy, support social innovation or improve services, in line with their mission.

Mind: Housing and mental health

A growing area of policy concern is how the changing nature of housing is affecting those with mental health conditions. In particular, little is known about the circumstance of people living in the private rented sector, which has grown enormously over the last decade.

Using Understanding Society data, Mind wants to examine the effects of different housing conditions on worsening mental health or wellbeing for people in private rented sector. It also wants to look at whether poor mental health is associated with higher likelihood of moving house frequently amongst people living in this sector. The research will inform the charity’s campaign and support work on housing.

Family and Childcare Trust: Childcare and mothers’ employment

Many parents use formal childcare in order to work but the accessibility and affordability of childcare varies across the country. Childcare costs can reduce the financial gains to parents and problems with access to childcare provision can be a significant barrier to employment, especially for women. On the other hand childcare subsidies by the Government have the potential to reduce poverty and the gender pay gap.

The research project aims to aid understanding on how local-level availability and price of childcare affects mothers’ decision to return to work. The project will combine Understanding Society data with annual information on accessibility and price collected by The Family and Childcare Trust.

Previous recipients in the Voucher Scheme have included the Child Poverty Action Group, Young Women’s Trust, The Children’s Society and Barnardo’s.

Read about the Young Women’s Trust research on economic inactivity among young women, using Understanding Society data as a previous recipient in the Voucher Scheme Young, female and forgotten