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Strong Communities Healthier People


Led by Dr Eva Elliott (research lead), Martin O’Neill (community engagement lead) and Mel Evans (project co-ordinator), SCHeP is one five of Cardiff University’s Flagship Engagement Projects. The aim is to develop and pilot a sustainable model of collaborative research, education, engagement, knowledge exchange and impact between the University and local communities. Nationally, the project will work with Welsh Government (Communities, Health and Social Services Directorates in particular), the NHS in Wales (in the first instance Cwm Taf and Cardiff and Vale University Health Boards and Public Health Wales) as well as the Communities First network and the Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Strong Communities, Healthier People will pilot this partnership approach in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown in Cardiff and in North Merthyr Tydfil. Each of the two areas has its own distinct history, geography, economy and identity, but they share similar levels of poverty and social and economic exclusion. This will form the basis of a model that can eventually be rolled out to Communities First areas in Cardiff’s City Region as a whole. The failure of a great deal of research in communities is that the model remains ‘extractive’ rather than ‘reciprocal’.  The problem with such research is not that the communities are ‘over-researched’ but that community members are treated within the research as if they are laboratory samples rather than conscious interpreters of their own situations. This project will be a flagship in terms of co-production values and processes which will benefit the communities who live there and the people who provide services that support health and wellbeing.  In addition to a more engaged approach to research the project will utilise the full assets of communities and universities to improve the circumstances and opportunities for people living in Cardiff’s City Region as well as for University staff and students. A Project Steering Group consisting of representatives from Communities First, Public Health Wales, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan and Cym Taf University Health Boards, the Wales Council for Voluntary (WCVA), Welsh Government and other Schools within the University.  SCHeP also reports at a local level to the two Communities First Cluster Steering Group and Partnership Boards.

Our work packages

– Capacity Building: training and engagement opportunities for communities, staff and students

– Design co-produced research: developing new approaches and methods

– Culture, poverty and health: developing links with the creative industries to address poverty and improve health and wellbeing

– Community organising: establishing bottom-up mechanisms for identifying community relevant action and research

For General Enquiries email SCHeP@Cardiff.ac.uk

Or contact Dr Eva Elliott (elliotte@cf.ac.uk), Dr Martin O’Neill (ONeillM2@cf.ac.uk) or Ms Mel Evans (Evansm6@cf.ac.uk) 02920 875389.