NEWS27 October 2020

Walnut Unlimited wins MRS homelessness competition

Charities Innovations News Public Sector UK Youth

UK – A team from Walnut Unlimited has won a Market Research Society (MRS) challenge to use insight to help homeless people. 


The aim of the competition was to help organisations that support homeless people, such as charities or government agencies, with useable insight and practical actions about the UK’s homeless population.

The competition was launched by MRS in early 2020, and was aimed at members of young researchers network &more.

Walnut Unlimited won for a proposed project focused on building a greater understanding of the ‘hidden’ homeless population – people who do not show up on official homelessness figures.

This included training homeless people as researchers, allowing them to play a role in the design, execution and outcomes of the research.

Abigail Olingschlaeger, Bessie Pike and Alice Carver led the project, and have been awarded a combined £25,000 in funding from an unnamed foundation and two private individuals. The team are pursuing another £30,000 in funding to get the project off the ground.

There were eight entries from seven different research agencies entered into the competition. Judges on the panel for the competition included representatives from MRS, Shelter, Crisis and the Centre for Homelessness Impact.

Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS and member of the judging panel, said: “It was great to see so many young researchers enthusiastically and intelligently engaging with such an important societal issue.

“We’re always keen to support those who are at the early stages of their research careers and it would be fantastic to see the chosen project secure the additional funding it needs, particularly given the potential positive impact it could have.”