INSPIRE – research that has inspired children and young people
For the second year running, Dr. Sally Lloyd-Evans, Participation Lab leader and the Whitley Researchers have been awarded a University of Reading Research Engagement and Impact Award. This year, Sally Lloyd-Evans, the Whitley Researchers, Paul Allen and the Young Researchers achieved the award under the INSPIRE category – for research that has inspired children and young people.
Since 2014, Dr Sally Lloyd-Evans has worked alongside residents in Whitley and other local partners, to develop a collective now known as the Whitley Researchers. Armed with research tools, the team is identifying needs within the community that will help them to address issues of economic and social exclusion.
This year, the team have worked with young people in local schools to train them as researchers and conduct youth-led research on issues they identified as important to them. Sally Lloyd-Evans commented, “It’s great to see the work of the Young Researchers and the Whitley Researchers team rewarded and recognised by the University and the wider community in Reading, as well as this approach to youth-led community research more generally. ”
We are pleased to welcome the Deathscapes and Diversity research project, led by Dr. Avril Maddrell, as one of the Participation Lab’s growing portfolio of projects.
Deathscapes and Diversity: Making space for Death and Remembrance in Multicultural England and Wales
Using four case study towns in England and Wales and a variety of creative and participatory methods, the project is exploring how the needs of migrants and established minorities are interpreted and met within existing public and private cemetery, crematoria and remembrance site provision, and how any shortfalls might be addressed through community participation and local authority planning. The project aims to identify best practice and to inform local government and other providers about improving cemetery and crematoria provision.
The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council and is supported by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management and the Royal Town Planning Institute.
We’ll keep you posted on the planned visual exhibition, with photographs of participants, and other outputs in the coming months!
Students at the John Madejski Academy (JMA), Reading built a life-size house out of giant Lego blocks with the help of architects, as they constructed a vision of their ideal ‘home’.
The JMA hosted the first Whitley for Real project on Wednesday 10th May 2017, facilitated by the Whitley Researchers and Sally Lloyd-Evans. Students from Years 8 and 12 worked together as a team – named by them as ‘The Royalty’ – using 1,500 ‘bricks’ measuring up to 75 cm long to construct their home.
Whitley for Real is a partnership between Reading Borough Council, JMA, Reading Girls School, the Whitley Researchers and the Whitley Community Development Association (WCDA), Whitley Big Local, the University of Reading’s Participation Lab, Reading UKCIC and a range of stakeholders including Bewley Homes, Whitley Excellent Cluster (WEC) primary schools and the community. The home-building project, funded by Reading UKCIC and with support from Bewley Homes, the Whitley Researchers and involving academics from the University’s Participation Lab, focused on young people’s attitudes to what makes a ‘welcome home’ in Whitley.
We are pleased to launch the Youth Wellbeing Network, a global network of policymakers, practitioners, researchers and youth supporting a holistic approach to young people’s psychosocial wellbeing, care and support.
We are pleased to let you know about our latest Participation Lab project. Alice Mauchline, Lab Advisory Group member, in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is exploring how to best go about establishing a Science Shop in Reading and is planning a workshop to learn from existing Science Shops in June 2017. Read more about the project here.
As part of the Participation Lab’s Think-Pieces, we are pleased to publish our latest blogpost by Emma Cox, Geography undergraduate student, University of Reading: Anxious About Austerity: Fragile Family Lives. She writes that households and families are bearing the brunt of austerity and community systems are suffering. The blogpost was written as part of the second year undergraduate module, Culture, Identity & Place, taught by Ruth Evans and Sally Lloyd-Evans, University of Reading.
The Participation Lab was pleased to host the Implementing Change for Hidden Young Carers conference at the University of Reading on 22 February 2017. The conference was chaired by young adult carers and organised by the Children’s Society Include Project.
The conference, attended by 80 practitioners, directors of services and commissioners, provided updates on the current national picture for young carers and shared models of effective identification and whole family support for young carers and their families. Delegates heard from Mark Brown, Department of Health, about the new National Carers’ Strategy due to be launched soon in 2017 and from Helen Leadbitter about recent changes brought about by the Carers’ Act and Children and Families’ Act.
The afternoon focused on families affected by stigmatised illness and those often hidden from support, including young carers affected by parental substance misuse and mental illness. Ruth Evans and Helen Leadbitter presented the particular challenges faced by young carers in refugee and asylum-seeking families.
Young adult carers led important discussions about how caring affects young carers’ wellbeing, in positive as well as negative ways, and the importance of young carers’ participation so that they feel valued, heard and represented.
The emotional bucket and how the stresses young carers face can be alleviated by finding ways to open the tap and relax.