‘Community Matters’ celebrates strength of local research partnerships
The fruits of a major public engagement initiative to pair local community organisations with University researchers will be unveiled today at a showcase event taking place at the Guildhall in the City.
Through Community Matters, which was run in collaboration between the Public Engagement Unit and South West Foundation as part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, 15 university researchers worked with five local community organisations, applying research and expertise to tackle local community challenges
Addressing local questions
In February 2016 we asked local organisations to come forward with issues and problems they were facing, and then paired them with appropriate academics who, through a community-based participatory research process, and with funding provided, collaborated with them to address their questions.
- Wansdyke Play Association, who wanted to explore the impact that outdoor, outreach play services had on alleviating play deprivation across Somer Vale communities;
- Triumph over Phobia, a charity who wanted to understand how to encourage people with anxiety problems to seek help;
- Black Families Education Support Group, exploring the role supplementary schooling can play in narrowing the educational achievement gaps between different ethnic groups;
- Creativity Works, an organisation using creative activities, arts, drawing, writing performance to help people overcome anxiety and mental health challenges;
- and Transition Larkhall, an organisation dedicated to tackling climate change through local actions but specifically looking at the impact of the school run in Larkhall.
Researchers from across the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences were involved in the initiative.
Collaborating on Creativity Matters
Lead from the Public Engagement Unit, Ed Stevens explained: “Through Community Matters, our researchers have collaborated with local organisations to affect social change in the local area.
“Much has been achieved through the five projects and we’re grateful to all the academics and community partners involved who have shared their knowledge and experiences and given so much time and energy to ensuring the initiative’s success.”
At today’s event researchers and community groups involved in the initiative will convene to present the findings of their research and to share their experiences of working in partnership.
Watch this space for further information on Community Matters in coming weeks.
If you found this interesting you might like to find out more about the work of our Public Engagement Unit. For more see http://www.bath.ac.uk/marketing/public-engagement/index.html .