Our Research

Find out more about our current and past research projects

New Community Research Project – Pandemic Stories

Toynbee Hall is launching a new community led research project in collaberation with Thrive LDN, to understand how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting low income and other disproportionately affected households in London, including renters, disabled people and people from certain BAME communities. If you would like to get involved and become one of our researchers, find out more and express your interest here. No research experience is required.

Find out more and get involved

Making Tower Hamlets safer

We are supporting a diverse group of local people from Tower Hamlets to conduct research on people’s concerns around their safety and how Tower Hamlets can become a safer, more welcoming community.

Find out more and see the findings from this research

Making renting better and fairer for young people in East London

We worked alongside a diverse group of 18-30 year olds living in East London. The research and recommendations are geared towards making renting better and fairer for young people. Read their findings.

Find out more and see the findings from this research

Research and Evaluation

Research and evaluation has been part of Toynbee Hall’s identity since the organisation was founded as a University Settlement in 1884. It has helped shape its work by taking learning of the issues of the day and using them to find practical solutions and policies ‘on the ground’.

The philanthropist and social researcher Charles James Booth, for instance, led a group of Toynbee Hall residents in the 19th century and produced a well-known ‘Booth’s poverty map’ that has had a significant and lasting influence on social policy and research to date.

At Toynbee Hall, we continue to conduct research to give those affected by poverty and exclusion a voice and attempt to influence thinking and policy to find long-term solutions. Our research focuses on:

Social inclusion

Our research on social inclusion examines people’s access to rights, opportunities and resources through housing, employment, healthcare, education, civic engagement and democratic participation.

Financial inclusion

Our research looks at communities and groups suffering from financial exclusion, helping us to pilot new ways to deliver financial inclusion services and share lessons learnt from some of the innovative projects we have been involved in.


Along with our research on social inclusion and financial inclusion, we also examine the wellbeing of various groups, such as older people, young people and women.

Browse our Research and Evaluation reports

We also partner with universities and other organisations on various research and evaluation projects.

Toynbee Hall also conducts internal service evaluation to improve the user journey, improve outcomes and fully understand the issues around poverty and exclusion to create new services and influence policy. We seek to collaborate and share our findings to improve all services and create innovative solutions.

Here is an example of a recent Peer Research Project where we trained 20 people aged 50 and over to become social researchers in their own communities to find out what the main needs of local older people.

If you would like to find out more or discuss our research and evaluation, please email

Selections from different areas of the research and evaluation are showcased in this section to demonstrate the range of Toynbee Hall’s work. Some reports are products of our earlier years, dating back to nearly 100 years ago. Every project at Toynbee Hall has played a part in our helping us move toward our mission to help those in poverty today and tomorrow. It is this tireless work that inspires us to continue developing the research and evaluation work at Toynbee Hall.

Support our research 

Supporting our research work means helping the voices of those who are disempowered enter policy discussions that directly affect their lives. Our research projects investigate the need behind our services, and are increasingly co-produced with members of our community. You can assist our research through making a one-off or regular donation by clicking the link below, or contact our Development team to learn about more ways to support:

Be a supporter