University to lead UK community wellbeing research programme

The University of Liverpool will lead a research programme that aims to understand the impact that different  policies and services have on people in their communities.

The Community Wellbeing evidence programme, one of four funded by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will explore what ‘community wellbeing’ really means as well as building an accessible evidence-base to support more effective policies and interventions in the future.

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing was set up by the Government to gather and share evidence on what works to improve wellbeing in society. It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Public Health England and other partners, including government departments.

The Community Wellbeing programme is a consortium of partners that includes the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and the Heseltine Institute of Policy and Practice along with Sheffield University, Leeds Beckett University, Durham University, Goldsmiths, University of London.

It also involves five civil society organisations: the New Economics Foundation; Happy City; the Centre for Local Economic Strategies; and Social Life Ltd and Locality.

Professor Peter Kinderman, Head of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society who leads the Community Wellbeing programme, said:  “The ultimate aim of this research will be to enable policy-makers, local authorities, employers and others to use evidence of wellbeing impact in decision making and to improve people’s lives, by translating academic evaluation of wellbeing measures into easy-to-use information about effectiveness, cost and applicability.

“Liverpool’s role in this research programme will focus on how community wellbeing is affected by issues such as local social networks, having a say over what happens in our communities, and local living conditions.”

Professor Rhiannon Corcoran, who leads the University’s Heseltine Institute Health and Wellbeing network,  said:  “The goals of the What Works Centre resonate closely with the Heseltine Institute’s commitment to deliver rigorous, solutions-focused research that engages external partners from the outset.

“The programme builds on the Institute’s strong track record of engaging in major Government-sponsored policy initiatives, including the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth and the Future of Cities programme for GO Science.

“This evidence programme is also very good news for the city of Liverpool, where many innovative social enterprises exist to support communities that continue to face day-to-day pressures.

We have a chance here to deliver best-practice evidence exactly where it is most needed and wanted. We look forward to drawing on the expertise of our researchers and external partners to ensure that the programme delivers evidence that is of real use and practical value”.

Other research programmes which have been funded under this initiative will look at wellbeing in the workplace (led by University of East Anglia), the role that culture and sport plays in wellbeing (led by Brunel University) and cross-cutting capabilities (led by the London School of Economics).

Further information on the research programmes can be found here >>>>


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