At HMR Circle, we are keen to monitor and evaluate the work that we do, to find areas for improvement and to identify good practice, and to evidence that what we do really works!

In this section you will find official research reports regarding the work of HMR Circle and the Volunteer Drivers Service, there is even a 'Secret Shopper' report!

Bridging the Digital Divide

Working with the University of Manchester and a cohort of students who formed the Manchester Consulting Group to research Bridging the Digital Divide amongst older people.

Growing The Circle - Expanding our Digital Offer

Working with The University of Manchester to examine the HMR Circle Digital Support Service and how it has delivered its service for participants and how we grow and expand the service. 

Digital Technologies & The Social Economy

HMR Circle was asked to participate in a European Commission Research Project regarding the ongoing digital transformation in the social economy.

Volunteering with HMR Circle

A quantitative study carried out by Anna Kalugin of Manchester Metropolitan University, concerning volunteers at HMR Circle, the impact on their lives and the lives of our Members.

The Impact of the Volunteer Drivers Service

A quantitative study carried out by Emily Brown of Manchester Metropolitan University, concerning how the Members use the service and in what ways it has postively impacted their lives.

The Circle of Life

A quantitative study carried out by Bobbi Effanga of Manchester Metropolitan University, concerning social isolation in the older population.

Being a Member - The Impact

We conducted an externally verified survey of 200 of our HMR Circle Members to find out how being a Member impacts on their lives.

The Power of People

This report, conducted by 10GM, highlights the impact of people powered health projects across the whole of Greater Manchester. This particular report focusses on the work of HMR Circle.


Conducted by GMCVO, this research looked at the approaches to co-production by a number of organisations based in Greater Manchester and analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach.

Secret Shopper

We worked with Shopper Anonymous to perform a 'secret shopper' experiment to see what it was like when a prospective new Member contacted HMR Circle. We wanted to ensure our customer service and first impressions where as good as they could possibly be. 

HMR Circle's Response to the Covid 19 Pandemic

A quantitative study carried out by Shannon Patrick of Manchester Metropolitan University into HMR Circle's response to the Covid 19 pandemic

Social care innovation by the social economy in Manchester, Greater Manchester and the North of England

This paper sets out four case studies of social economy social care models, approaches and/or activities, primarily within Manchester and Greater Manchester – PossAbilities (Page 10); Be Caring (P. 14); North West Care Co-operative (NWCC) (P. 19); and HMR Circle (P. 22).

Innovative thinking boosts caring profession

A membership organisation that helps to tackle social isolation among older people, Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale Circle isn’t the kind of business you would normally associate with innovation.

But with some creative thinking on a limited budget, HMR Circle has boosted turnover forecasts by 15% following support from the Business Growth Hub.

Bouncing Back with Circle

A quantitative study carried out by Francesca Katherine Donovan of Manchester Metropolitan University exploring the social isolation and re-engagement of elderly populations after the COVID-19 pandemic, in conjunction with HMR Circle