We are changing the way organisations understand their work and impacts.

Substance is changing the way organisations understand their work and impacts.

Empowering Social Impact Organisations

At Substance, we collaborate with a range of organisations, including charities, social businesses, and government agencies, spanning various sectors.

Our team consists of seasoned social researchers, technologists, and programme managers, each with expertise in their respective fields. What unites us is our shared goal of empowering organisations that strive to make a positive social impact.

We are dedicated to assisting organisations that make a difference by helping them to improve their strategies and operations.

Through research and technology, we provide organisations with the valuable knowledge and insights necessary to deliver maximum social impact.

Trust our qualified staff to help your business grow.

Chief Executive

Tim is Chief Executive and one of the founders of Substance. He was formerly Professor of the Sociology of Sport and Popular Culture at Sheffield Hallam University.

He has thirty years’ experience of leading multi-disciplinary research teams investigating the social aspects of sport and physical activity. Alongside his core role Tim is heavily involved in company operations, leading Substance’s social valuing work alongside strategic input into our work with GM Moving, a whole systems approach to tackling inactivity in Greater Manchester, and the Chances social outcomes partnership.

He previously lead research and evaluation projects focused on the use of sport and physical activity as a social policy tool for the Home Office; chaired the consortium leading the DfE Information and Signposting Project to promote youth activities; led the research and development of Sportworks for Sported; and helped initiate and lead the Inspiring Impact programme. With a succession of publications to his name, Tim is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities in relation to the research, development and analysis of sport and activity-based policy initiatives.

At the weekend he is generally to be found riding the roller coaster that is Crystal Palace Football Club.

Director of Data & Insight

Before founding Substance, Gavin worked as a senior researcher and lecturer at several university departments including Manchester Metropolitan University’s Manchester Institute for Popular Culture between 2002 and 2006. His research interests focus on the use of sport for social development and he specialises in developing data strategies for large charities. Gavin has managed and contributed to several high-profile research projects for clients including Sport England, the Premier League and UEFA and helps to manage technical developments for Substance including its Views system.

Why Gavin works for Substance

“I became a founder member of Substance because of my belief in making research and insight useful for organisations delivering social interventions. My work is focused on breaking down traditional barriers between research and practice and supporting organisations to embed good quality data collection and reflective practice in their everyday operations. Outside of work, I am a lifelong supporter of Stoke City FC.”

Director of Operations

Lauren joined Substance in 2015 and is Head of Operations. She became a Director of the company in 2021 and is Chair of the Board. Previously working in the fashion retail sector for many years, after gaining a BSC degree in Human Sciences Lauren became the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Manchester United Foundation working within the departments of education, community cohesion, health, disability and the Girls Football Centre of Excellence. It was this role that first introduced her to the world of monitoring and evaluation, impact measurement and Substance.

With a keen interest in all aspects of Operations Management and a Prince 2 qualification in Project Management, Lauren leads on managing all day to day business activity, as well as providing managerial support to research and technology projects.

Why Lauren works for Substance

“It’s great to be involved in a busy, growing organisation. My role requires me to be involved in many areas of the business, meaning that It’s never a dull day at Substance Towers! Away from Substance my interests include fashion, sport, lots of socialising and a very varied taste in all genres of music.”

Non Executive Director

Aidan joined Substance in 2014. He has over twenty years of senior finance experience in a variety of listed companies, including operating as the Finance Director at the Sage Group from 1993 to 2000. He is an investor and adviser to a number of international private technology companies and is treasurer of Kids Kabin, a Newcastle based children’s charity.

Why Aidan works for Substance

“Substance is of special interest to me as it combines technological solutions with social programmes aimed at helping some of the most vulnerable in society.”

Dedicated Departments.

Individual Importance.

We want every organisation we work with to be as effective as possible. This means making sure the technology we create and the research insights we deliver can be applied practically and provide a genuinely useful roadmap for organisations to understand and improve what they do.

Discover how Substance is revolutionising the approach to understanding work and impacts for charities, social businesses, and government agencies. Our team offers expert research and tech solutions to enhance your strategies and operations for greater social impact.

The team

The team

The team

The team

We share an ambition to make organisations that do good have a greater impact.

See how we can help your business work smarter.