Research Library

Research Library

Our reports

Inclusive Design in Action

Fair By Design, Ofgem and Toynbee Hall, A case study: using inclusive design to create a fair transition to net zero.

A Participatory Action Research (PAR) group of professional 
researchers and consumers with lived experience of the energy poverty premium worked in partnership on proposals that explore what a fair transition to net zero for low income consumers could look like. 

May 2023

Breaking Point

The latest impact report from Debt Free Advice, where we have focused on real-world stories and experiences from our frontline team and customer feedback to paint a vivid picture of day-to-day impact our free advice service makes.

November 2022

Net Zero Transition for low-income Consumers

A Participatory Action Research project exploring
what a fair transition to net zero should look like for low-income consumers, and how to get there.

September 2022

More than just education

A Participatory Action Research project on adult education in London

February 2022


A Participatory Action Research project on the challenges of renting in London as a young person

November 2021

Tower Hamlets Poverty Review

In May 2021 Toynbee Hall collaborated with low income residents of Tower Hamlets to identify the drivers of poverty and solutions for tackling them in Tower Hamlets.

October 2021

We’re not on a conveyor belt

Problem debt is a significant issue in London, with around one in twenty families in arrears on at least one of their household bills. In this research we assembled a group of peer researchers who all had experience of problem debt to co-design and co-produce research into what advice services could do to make the experience more accessible and empowering.

October 2021
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Debt Free London: A year responding to change

Serving Londoners, adapting our service. Over the past year, our team has had approximately 44,000 conversations with clients.

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Pandemic Stories: Full report

A Participatory Action Research project exploring the experiences of Londoners disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and their policy recommendations for a fairer future for all.
Pandemic Stories, supported by Thrive LDN, is about community-led action by people with lived experience of surviving the pandemic in the hardest of circumstances.

August 2021

Pandemic Stories: Headline Report

Working in collaboration with Londoners who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis because of their income, disability, racial background, or housing tenure, we conducted an investigation into the impact of the crisis and co-design effective solutions to improve financial resilience and wellbeing.

March 2021

Beyond Age and Income: Encouraging Saving Behaviours

This research conducted by Toynbee Hall, supported by the Building Societies Association, challenges the common assumption that people naturally save more as they get older and earn more.

September 2019

Payday Denied: Exploring the lived experience of declined payday loan applicants

With the decline of the UK payday loans industry, where can people who previously used these high cost loans now access money? This research explores the answers, based on 80 interviews with borrowers around the UK.

November 2018

Problem gambling in Birmingham – A Rapid Assessment Report

This is a rapid assessment report on the issue of problem gambling in Birmingham based on a review of available evidence.

May 2018

Cheques and Balances Full Report

An investigation into the use of cheque cashing services in the UK.

July 2017

Cheques and Balances Executive Summary

An Executive Summary of the our investigation into the use of cheque services in the UK.

July 2017

Savings for the Future – Solving the puzzle for low income households

A new report published today by the Financial Health Exchange finds that low income households employ various informal financial savings techniques that help them to be more financially resilient.

March 2017

An extra 7 years before I’m debt free: The effect of the poverty premium on debt advice service users

This primary research aims to quantify some major types of poverty premium. Our quantitative data suggests that some groups are more likely to pay a poverty premium.

December 2016

The poverty premium in Tower Hamlets

A Toynbee Hall report details how the ‘Poverty Premium’ is making the most low income communities throughout the UK even poorer.

May 2014

A Tower Hamlets Residents Manifesto

10 ideas for the next Mayor of Tower Hamlets, to create a brighter, poverty-free future that we shape together.

April 2022

Sleepless nights: Accessing justice without legal aid

Toynbee Hall and Middlesex University conducted primary research to examine the impact of legal aid cuts on people’s lived experiences.

November 2015

Trusting the Dice: Immigration advice in Tower Hamlets

Research into immigration advice in Tower Hamlets has uncovered systemic failures with both regulated and unregulated advisors providing misleading and expensive advice to vulnerable clients.

November 2015

Is London a fair city?

The London Fairness Commission, an independent Commission has published an interim report, detailing the work of the Commission to date, the findings of their research and a series of fairness dilemmas to be considered.

June 2015

Are young people heard? Our thoughts about young people and politics

A report led by 12 young women from Tower Hamlets and Hackney looking ay how young people from low income areas, marginalised young women and minorities are excluded from politics.

November 2014

Not wanted here

Researchers contacted letting agents whilst acting as prospective tenants to find how many letting agents in Tower Hamlets were willing to consider letting properties to tenants who claimed housing benefit.

April 2014

Volunteering as a path to employability

A report looking at the need for Toynbee Hall to develop a project that could support the volunteering of the unemployed whilst building their skills in order to increase their chances of getting paid employment.

December 2010

Waiting for change: Restaurant workers and the informal economy in Brick Lane

Toynbee Hall undertook a primary research revealing a picture in which staff in London’s Brick Lane restaurants are trapped in poverty.

February 2009

The blank space project

Toynbee Hall conducted workshops with Year 6 pupils, encouraging them to develop their own ideas of what facilities and resources in the local area should be made more available and accessible.

January 2009

“You dont really know people ’till you talk to them” – Participatory Action Research on the needs of older people

This report is based on a year-long study into the needs of older people in Tower Hamlets. The report reflects the findings from the work of a diverse group of 20 local people aged 50 and over who were trained and supported to interview, survey, research and analyse the needs of 500 local residents.

September 2018

Making the biggest difference: supporting cancer patients

This research uses a combination of qualitative methods and GIS mapping to explore the kinds of support that would make the biggest difference for people with cancer and their families.

August 2015

Statistics on prostitution in London and the UK

A report exploring existing research and data to build up a bank of information related to women who seel sex on the street in Tower Hamlets and London, in an attempt to understand what is known and not known about the issue.

June 2009


Regular reviews of Toynbee Hall’s projects are an important part of our practice. We use these reviews to inform project delivery and stay transparent and accountable for our service users, staff, funders and the public.

Working for a Debt Free London

Debt Free London’s Impact Report for the year 2018-19 looks at how the debt advice partnership has been helping people with their debts.

July 2019

Senior Money Mentors – Final Report

An evaluation of our one-year peer-to-peer financial information sharing pilot project aimed at older people (aged 55 or above and in retirement)

February 2018

2016/17 Make it! Evaluation Report

An evaluation of our flagship youth project, Make it!. A mentoring project for 12-13 year old pupils.

November 2017

An Interim Evaluation of Senior Money Mentors

This documents contains the interim findings of two reports about Toynbee Hall’s Senior Money Mentors project.

October 2017

Community Money Mentors programme Year 1

An independent evaluation report by the University of Salford evaluates Year 1 of Toynbee Hall’s Community Money Mentors programme

December 2016

The Money Mentors Programme

The Money Mentors programme has increased financial capability and financial inclusion in Tower Hamlets; generating a Social Return on Investment of £3 for every £1 invested.

January 2015

Consultation to inform service development

This consultation exercise helps inform Toynbee Hall about the range of services and activities desired by the local community once the redevelopment of our existing site is complete.

December 2014

The results of NPC’s wellbeing measure

An NPC report detailing the results of the Well-Being Measure, used by Toynbee Hall in the Aspire project to survey the young people involved and demonstrate their well-being.

June 2013

Archives Learning and Development Project

A report on the activity and future prospects of the Archive Learning and Development Project at Toynbee Hall, which aims to make Toynbee Hall’s history and heritage more accessible.

March 2013

Archive Publications

Publications and programmes of the National Institute of Economic Research

Published in 1944, this report details the studies that the institute managed to publish as well as those being prepared for the future. Studies worked on by the Institute at this time included a critical evaluation of the relatively new National Health Insurance Scheme; an analysis of Soviet Russia’s economy over a 25 year period; and an enquiry into the system of valuation for rating.


Annual report of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research

This report, published in 1942, details all the research and programmes carried out during the year. Studies worked on by the Institute at this time included an account of Standardised Accountancy in Germany; a federal finance inquiry; and a study on the impact of World War II on the industrial sector in Coventry.


Final Report of the Bethnal Green After-Care Experiment

This report, published in 1936, argues for an ‘aftercare’ programme for young people to be introduced that would supervise them for up to three years after they left school. The programme would provide advice on gaining employment, health care and profitably and effectively managing their spare time.

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