UWE Bristol wins funding to investigate embedding children’s rights into classroom practice with three Welsh Universities 

Posted on

A collaborative research team, led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), has been successful in securing just under £700k funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), via the ESRC Education Research Programme. This exciting project, spanning three years, explores the challenging issue of translating policy intention into education practice with a focus on young children’s participation rights and how these are enacted in classroom contexts.  

 The project research team includes:   

  • Dr Sarah Chicken, UWE, Bristol (Principal Investigator) 
  • Dr Jacky Tyrie and Professor Jane Williams, Swansea University  
  • Dr Jane Waters-Davies and Dr Alison Murphy, University of Wales Trinity Saint David 
  •  Dr Jennifer Clement, Cardiff Metropolitan University.   
  • Debi Keyte-Hartland, Pedagogical Consultant and Artist-Educator 

The Welsh policy context is such that children’s rights are centrally placed within legislation and provision. In the school context the Curriculum for Wales is underpinned by a commitment to four purposes which enshrine children’s rights. The research problem arises as a result of evidence that indicates, despite this policy rhetoric, that young children’s participation rights are often understood in a one-dimensional manner.  

Pedagogic practices to support the enactment of young children’s participation rights are inconsistent, and at times reflect ‘restricted’ approaches to children’s enactment of rights in which only certain children can make certain choices, at certain times, within certain spaces, and for certain reasons. Focussing on young children, aged 5-7 years, in the school context, this project considers how pedagogic practices can embed participatory rights for all children, and attend, routinely, to children’s voice and agency. The project adopts an innovative participatory research design, initially exploring the research problem with young children and their teachers via creative methods, and then with student teachers and their educators in university- and school-based accredited partnerships providing initial teacher education in Wales.  

Quotes:   

Principle Investigator:  Dr. Sarah Chicken   

As a team we are particularly excited by the opportunity of working collaboratively with children and educators across Wales and to develop sustainable networks beyond the life course of the study. We feel that our project has potential impact on the space where theory, practice and policy meet. 

Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair of the Economic and Social Research Council, said:

“Through the Education Research Programme, ESRC is funding important new research that will generate insights and help address ongoing challenges for the UK’s compulsory education systems, including how to attract, educate and retain excellent teachers, and how to adopt and harness the benefits of new technologies.

“The programme will support both teachers and children by tackling issues such as resilience, participation, recruitment, training and retention.

“The research will use the power of social science to generate a range of exciting outputs that have the potential to directly transform UK education and create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment.”

Professor Gemma Moss, Director of the Education Research Programme, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for the education research community to work in partnership with other stakeholders and find new ways of tackling some long-lasting challenges in school-based education.

“The programme recognises the devolved nature of education in the UK and in this context is looking to develop stronger links between research, policy and practice that can generate new insights relevant to local contexts.” 

Partners:

Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme – open for applications

Posted on

The Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme (WRMS) aims to promote and facilitate professional development for women researchers working at UWE Bristol, helping them reach senior research roles.  This scheme provides support to female staff (including those who identify as female or non-binary) to develop and strengthen their research portfolio, making them more able to compete for senior research roles alongside their male counterparts.

This scheme offers a specified number of mentoring opportunities, which aim to provide mentees with encouragement, support and advice from experienced colleagues in order to help the mentee realise their potential and fulfil their research career aspirations. 

The new application cycle for the WRMS is now open. The scheme is open to all women in academic and research roles, employed by UWE Bristol, who wish to develop their careers.

The benefits of being involved in the scheme by becoming a mentor or mentee could assist your development and progression. The scheme will entail a nominated woman researcher being matched to a mentor, who can be a woman or man. Training will be provided to all new participants. The application deadline is Wednesday 18 January 2023.

Further details of the scheme including how to apply is available on the Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme staff intranet pages.

UWE Bristol Campus Climate Survey on student experiences of sexual abuse and misconduct 2022/23

Posted on

By Kieran McCartan, Nick Addis, & Ella Rees

Violence against women and girls (or Gender Based Violence as its also known) is one of the most prolific forms of crime and anti-social behaviour globally, with 1 in 3 experiencing it at some point in their lives (World Bank). This is by no means to diminish the extent of violence against men and boys, but this happens less often and in a different way to violence committed against women and girls (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse). The most common form of violence against women and girls is sexual abuse and gender-based violence, with the vast majority of this being perpetrated by men and boys (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs). Often, violence against women and girls is characterized as a women’s issue, with the response to it being a discussion on how we police and mitigate the behaviour of men and boys, which makes it an individual and interpersonal issue rather than a community or social issue (see figure 1 for explanation of socio-ecological model). However, we know that violence against women and girls is a community and social issue, demonstrated by the work of the  women of the Centre for Expertise into Child Sexual Abuse, and the Independent inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, as well as the work for transnational organisations like the United Nations and World Health Organisation. Typically, we frame violence against women and girls as an individual and/or interpersonal issue (which means we talk about it in terms of pathology, psychology, and individual situations) or a social issue (meaning that we talk about it broadly in terms of social norms and beliefs), but the first is too bespoke and the second is too unmanageable! Therefore, we need to start thinking about it at the community level (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Socio-ecological approach to understanding Gender Based Violence

Violence against women and girls happens in a community context and therefore needs a community response, whether that is in terms of how to best respond to violence or how to best prevent it. Therefore, while it is important to work with individuals about their problematic beliefs and behaviours, we need to set a community tone in which these discussions can be held in a more nuanced fashion. There are many different types of communities, from geographic communities, to shared interest, and online communities, as well as, as well as cultural and belief communities. Community comes from a sense of shared values and a common goal of working towards an agreed end. One example of a type of community is a university. Universities work as a community at a meta level (the overarching ideas of the shared values of education, research, and betterment both nationally and internationally) as well as at a more bespoke level (place-based or culture-based approaches rooted in individual universities, campuses, or courses); therefore, the university spans the sociological spectrum and has a role to play at each point. Therefore, because universities are a community, they embody key social values and display social issues, both positive and negative, including violence against women.

Universities UK have stated that violence against women is one of the most pressing issues facing UK universities in the modern era and that they need to step up, collectively and individually, to respond as well as prevent it (Changing the culture report). In doing so, the focus has been on sexual violence, rape, sexual abuse and harassment, with many universities, including UWE  Bristol, rolling out bystander intervention training for students; working with the Students Union and their clubs and societies; rolling out http://researchdata.uwe.ac.uk/610/reporting packages (report and support); working with their mental health and support services to develop better packages of support; developing and rolling out packages to support problematic behaviour in individual students (through the ADDRESS programme); and working to change the campus culture, with support from students and their societies, around sexual abuse (Speak up). However, there is still more that can be done, especially through enhancing staff development and training, as well as better and more effective partnership working with local charities and non-governmental organisations that support victims (i.e., Rape Crisis, The Green House) as well as work with people who are at risk of harming (i.e., Lucy Faithfull Foundation).

One way of understanding, and therefore being better able to respond to and prevent sexual abuse, is through a campus climate survey. A campus climate survey is a piece of research conducted by the university examining the prevalence and experiences of those that have been impacted by sexual abuse as a student. This approach to understanding the lived reality of sexual abuse on and off campus has been growing in popularity internationally over the last 10 years or so. Currently, UWE is running its second campus climate survey, the first one ran in 2019  Conducting the campus climate survey is as important for the students who attend UWE Bristol as it is for the university, as it gives the community the opportunity to come together to gain a real sense of the extent of sexual abuse and its members’ understanding of the services available to them, as well as how they engage with them. A community needs a community voice so that it can build fit-for-purpose community services so that individuals are supported, and the community culture shifts.

If you are a current student at UWE Bristol please complete the survey, which is open until the end of November, via the link below:

Complete the survey

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact us directly or via the survey email (campusclimate@uwe.ac.uk).

Research in Emergency Care Avon Collaborative Hub: Hospital or Not event

Posted on

On 1st November, the Research in Emergency Care Avon Collaborative Hub (REACH) hosted an event e.xploring how to decide when hospital would benefit patients aged 65 or over.

The event was fully booked and had a great mix of paramedics, geriatricians and members of the public who enjoyed some fantastic discussion sessions and a delicious lunch in between presentations about frailty, minor head injury and major trauma.

Talks included:

  • Professor Jay Banerjee on Frality
  • Dr Helen Nicholson on minor head injury in older people
  • Emma Page & Hayden Frazer on the North Bristol Care Home Interface Project
  • Jean Palmer & Edmund Brooks on the paitent’s perspective

The event included a simulation by the UWE Bristol Student Paramedic Simulation Society of an ambulance crew attending an older person who had fallen. Two members of the public also shared their experiences of being full time carers.

The discussions throughout the day were fascinating and will help to inform the future research in the area of emergency care for older people.

REACH is a collaborative research hub in Bristol that aims to improve the delivery of urgent and emergency care.

.

The south Asian Dementia Pathway (ADAPT) study

Posted on

Dissemination event held online on Thursday 13th October 2022

Written by Dr Emily Dodd, Senior Research Fellow and project manager for the ADAPT study.

“An amazing and informative session[1]

Almost 100 people across the UK joined an online dissemination event on Thursday 13th October 2022 to hear about and see in action the new online toolkit that has been recently developed through the research carried out as part of the ADAPT study.  Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the purpose of this study was to create an online toolkit of culturally appropriate assessments and interventions that support people from South Asian communities across the dementia care pathway.

“The lived experiences from the Carers were particularly impactful”

The study was co-led by Rik Cheston, Professor of Dementia Research at the University of the West of England and Dr Sahdia Parveen, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bradford. This was a truly collaborative project including the Universities of Wolverhampton and Bath and charity partners the Race Equality Foundation and Dementia Alliance for Culture and Ethnicity. Importantly, the study has been fortunate to have a strong and engaged public contributor team who have “kept it real” and ensured the voice of those affected by dementia from south Asian communities ran throughout the planning and execution of the study.

“…this fantastic study and resource”

Previous research has shown that roughly 25,000 people from ethnic minority communities live with dementia in the UK and the largest single grouping are people whose origins are from South Asian countries. We also know that while people from South Asian communities are at greater risk of developing dementia they are less likely to access all points of the dementia care pathway. The study team therefore wanted to bring together in one place evidenced-based resources to support people from South Asian communities affected by dementia along with recommendations to healthcare staff providing relevant services.

“Hugely insightful and the toolkit will be a massive resource for us”

The online event was an opportunity for the study team to share the online toolkit itself alongside the findings of the study and the films developed as part of the study. People who attended the event included those who took part in the study and wider stakeholders including health and social care professionals and voluntary and community sector organisations supporting and caring for people affected by dementia. The hard-hitting and powerful film ‘Kiran’ (an eight-minute true-to-life dramatization of the struggles and difficulties families face when caring for a loved one living with dementia) that was produced as part of the study was also shown in full at the event.   

“Its a game changer for me”

The ADAPT study website and toolkit are hosted by the Race Equality Foundation and can be accessed by visiting the website: https://raceequalityfoundation.org.uk/adapt/.

Please contact the team directly with any questions or feedback you have about the toolkit on adapt@uwe.ac.uk.  


[1] Quotes come from the Zoom chat box during the event

The Centre for Machine Vision working on Detection for Early signs of Digital Dermatitis Lesions and Lameness Within Dairy Cattle

Posted on

UWE Bristol’s Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) are the academic partner on an innovative project with Hoofcount to detect early signs of digital dermatitis lesions and lameness within dairy cattle.

Hoofcount is a 10-year-old family business, focusing on how to keep cows’ hoofs clean and healthy. The project is aimed at using machine vision to develop an early detection lameness monitoring system. It has won funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, for feasibility studies combining innovation with research and collaboration with farmers and growers.

Hoof health is a prevalent issue in agriculture, particularly in the dairy industry, as it is one of the main factors leading to poor milk production. Dairy cows are susceptible to a range of hoof issues including Digital dermatitis, sole ulcers, white line disease and overgrown hooves. These generally show a visual change in the underside and back of the hoof. These issues can develop initially without the animal showing visual signs in its gait.

John Hardiman, Software Engineer at Hoofcount explained:

“Lameness is a key issue in dairy herds, with conservative estimates of 25% of dairy cattle suffering from lameness and each lame cow costing more than £300 in loss of production and treatment. The Hoofcount footbath is trusted and recommended by farmers vets and hoof trimmers internationally as they are seeing a continuous fall in lameness on farms using the Hoofcount Automatic Footbath.”

Detecting and treating these issues at an early stage is beneficial to the animal in keeping the hooves healthy and preventing severe lameness which leads to a lower production, increased veterinary and treatment costs, reduced animal welfare, a higher Carbon footprint, and many other issues.

Developing a system that can visualise these changes daily and detect any potential issues early will be of huge benefit to the national herd. Utilising computer vision and machine learning is Hoofcount’s preferred method for monitoring and detecting these issues.

“Collaboration with farmers is core to Hoofcount’s continued innovation and leading reputation in reliable foot-bathing for heard hoof health. Agri-EPI Centre has bolstered our collaboration, with the introduction of The Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) at UWE Bristol and successful application for Innovate UK funding (IUK). CMV has a track record of successful computer vision within agriculture. Agri-EPI has been instrumental in the project funding application and continues to support the project organisation with its network of research farms.”

“As with our automatic footbaths, we know that we will never get rid of Digital dermatitis and hoof health issues completely, however we want to do everything we can to minimise the effects of them and reduce the spread.”

Agri-EPI’s Head of Dairy, Duncan Forbes said:

“This is a great example of the sort of practical collaborations we seek to create, bringing together innovative companies like Hoofcount with leading research experts like the team at CMV at UWE Bristol. Early detection of lameness is vital to meeting the challenge of delivering a substantial reduction in lameness prevalence in dairy herds. UK milk producers will very much welcome the benefits to cow welfare and cost reduction that this emerging technical solution will deliver.”

Wenhao Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Machine Vision at UWE Bristol commented:

“Unique challenges arising from a realistic environment, such as a farm, are often underestimated when developing machine vision solutions to real-world problems. The large set of uncontrollable and dynamic variables in complex scenes cannot be tackled by simply applying tweaks to existing offerings.

Development of on-farm technology needs to be driven by fundamental research examining practical constraints in a bespoke way, in order to produce an innovative approach that is reliable, robust, and practicable. In this project, to solve the problem of object detection and classification ‘in the wild’, the opportunity to co-create this technology with different stakeholders and to informed design choices with the best farming practices and a wealth of inter-disciplinary knowledge is truly invaluable.”

The Centre for Machine Vision (CMV) is part of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. They solve real-world practical computer vision problems. Their particular excellence lies in three-dimensional reconstruction and surface inspection.

Youth, Transition and Social Justice: (re)searching spaces of social action- Call for Chapters

Posted on
  • Editors:  Michael Whelan and Brian McShane
  • Deadline for submissions: 11.55pm on Friday 25th November, 2022

Michael Whelan and Brian McShane are very glad to be able to share the below call for chapters for inclusion in an edited book titled: ‘Youth, Transition and Social Justice: (re)searching spaces of social action’. They have an expression of interest for this book from Bristol University Press, as part of a wider series being led by Agatha Herman .  Please see the below call for further details and feel free to get in touch with any questions. They would also welcome any further distribution of this call through relevant networks:

Context 

This edited collection seeks to bring together emergent research insights, analysis and practice considerations in relation to the spatiality of young people’s experiences of injustice and the realisation of social justice. In the context of a shifting landscape of youth transitions, we consider the ways that a concept of social justice offers a point of leverage around which young people (or those who would seek to advocate with and for them) can pursue a ‘better’ society. In a period in history where ‘post-truth’ agendas continue to blur the lines between facts and ‘alternative facts’, real world and virtual collective social spaces have become fragmented – often oriented around more insular specific interest driven agendas.

We critically explore the capacity of the concept of social justice to (re)mobilise social action amongst young people and youth practitioners around commonly agreed and shared collective agendas for social action – at local, national and international levels. Central to this exploration is a need to better understand the nature of the spaces occupied by young people and how power relations within these spaces shape and constrain the capacity for social action. As such, the research insights presented by contributors will place an emphasis on dialoguing research with practice.

We invite chapter proposals that explore areas including (but not limited to): 

  • emergent research insights, analysis and practice considerations in relation to young people’s experiences of social justice
  • consideration of the ways that young people create, inhabit and are excluded from particular spaces.
  • the tools of analysis and practice approaches researchers, youth practitioners and young people themselves are finding to expose and tackle the injustices young people face
  • new and emerging ways of working with young people that both challenge the injustices experienced directly by young people, in addition to enabling young people to be a more positive force for change in promoting social justice.

We aim to include 10-15 chapters at approximately 6,000 words per chapter.

Audience 

The book’s primary audience will be undergraduate and postgraduate students on programmes of study including: Sociology, Childhood and Youth Studies, Education, Social Work, Youth Work, Human Geography, Social Science and Criminology. The book will be of particular interest to practitioners or researchers with a primary focus on youth studies, or research or practice interventions with young people, particularly around issues of injustice.

Abstract 

Please submit an initial chapter proposal of up to 500 words that identifies your topic, tentative chapter title, and an introduction to your proposed contribution. Your proposal should include your 200-word bio note with your affiliation. Contributions should be original and should not be under consideration for any other publication. 

Please forward your proposal as a Word attachment to: michael.whelan@uwe.ac.uk

Centre for Print Research IMPACT 12 multidisciplinary printmaking conference

Posted on

In September 2022, the Centre for Print Research (CFPR) hosted IMPACT 12 multidisciplinary printmaking conference, The Printmakers’ Voice.

IMPACT stands for ‘International Multi-disciplinary Printmaking, Artists, Concepts and Techniques’. Over the past two decades IMPACT has evolved as Europe’s leading academic discourse on printmaking. Printmaking is now integral to the wider academic debate, through practice, theory, visual culture, and is studied across a range of programmes, from undergraduate to PhD around the world.

The hybrid event hosted online and in Bristol city centre aimed to have a therapeutic function, enabling attendees to listen to voices of other artists as well as sharing their own experiences.

The conference focused on six key themes:

  • Post-pandemic Voice
  • Touching and Touched
  • Printability and transmutability
  • The Printmakers’ Garden
  • Breaking Boundaries
  • Merging and Metamorphosis

The conference was attended by over 290 in-person delegates and over 100 online delegates. 41 Countries were represented by delegates at the event including participants from Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong and Australia.

Across our campuses and Bristol City Centre locations there were 120 solo and group exhibitions, private view events across the 3 days, and 17 virtual exhibitions. There were 3 key notes as well as 30 panels sessions across the event.

Experience the conference for yourself with the following videos:

Carinna Parraman, chair of Impact and director of the CFPR said, “The conference was an extraordinary coming together of printmakers across the globe – both in person and online. It was a great opportunity to listen to each other’s voices again by sharing and discussing ideas, seeing new works of art and curated exhibitions, and experiencing the richness and diversity of printmaking. It could not have happened without the effort and imagination of the CFPR team and the contribution made by the artists and delegates. Congratulations to all involved in this wonderful event.”

View all the recordings from the event.

For those of you who enjoy the detailed data here are the numbers:

At IMPACT there were 293 in-person registrations, 111 online registrations, of which 41 Countries were represented: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India,  Italy, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Namibia, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands and Wales. 

  • 120 solo and group exhibitions, 
  • 5 curated exhibitions, 
  • 3 keynote exhibitions, 
  • 17 virtual exhibitions, 
  • 3 keynote presentations, 
  • 30 panel sessions, 
  • 1 kick-off procession

The on-line REMO platform

  • Lecture Theatre 1 was live for the full duration of the event (4 days). On average users spent around 441 minutes/7.3 hours on the platform. 1340 minutes/22.3 hours of broadcasting. 217 chat messages were sent. 90 clap Remojis were used.
  • Lecture Theatre 2 was live for the full duration of the event (4 days) through 3 links, Friday, Saturday Morning and Saturday Afternoon. On average users spent around 356 minutes/6 hours on the platform. 505 minutes/8.4 hours of broadcasting. 124 chat messages were sent. 43 clap Remojis were used.
  • The Garden was live for socialising for the full duration of the event (4 days). On average users spent around 54 minutes on the platform. 27 minutes of broadcasting (Picnic Talks). 19 users (15) viewed Yoga.
  • The Gallery was live for the full duration of the event (4 days) and consisted of 3 rooms of 23 virtual exhibitions and links to the Summer of Print and Books digital content. On average users spent around 82 minutes on the platforms. 32 minutes of broadcasting (Exhibition Walks). 

Future Textiles Conference 2023

Posted on

Image: Conference speakers.

Bristol and online, 28 February – 2 March 2023

The Centre for Print Research (CFPR) is excited to announce the Future Textiles Conference 2023, Bristol and Online, 28 February – 2 March 2023, focusing on Future Clothing for the Next Generation.

Textiles are so ubiquitous, yet their functions have not been changed much since the dawn of civilization. Additionally, textiles have received widespread attention as a versatile platform in recent years for future wearable electronics applications. However, they are still far from the requirements of modern-day electronics.

The global textile industry is also often cited as the second most polluting industry after oil, responsible for ~8-10% of global CO2 emission, ~20% water pollution and ~35% microplastic pollution.

Therefore, radically new approaches are needed at both materials and manufacturing level to transform textiles into highly innovative, sustainable, and intelligent clothing.

Sustainable clothing research from Smart wearable e-textiles research from Graphene Application Laboratory at CFPR

This conference will provide a forum for collaborative discussions to address such key challenges at both academic and industry level to develop future clothing for the next generation and facilitate the rapid transition of such textiles from lab to market.

The conference key themes are:

  • New Materials for Textiles
  • Wearable Electronic Textiles (E-textiles)
  • Digital Manufacturing (Industry 4.0)  
  • Sustainable Textile Manufacturing 
  • Circular Economy  
  • Smart Functional Textiles  
  • Protective Medical Clothing 
Smart wearable e-textiles research from Graphene Application Laboratory at CFPR

The conference will have varied speakers from across the industry. Keynote speakers include Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov FRS from the National University of Singapore (NUS), who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 for isolating graphene at The University of Manchester in 2004.  He is an expert in condensed matter physics, mesoscopic physics, and nanotechnology. Every year since 2014, Kostya Novoselov has been included in the list of the most highly cited researchers in the world.

Other confirmed keynote speakers include Prof Stephen Russel and Prof Chris Carr from Leeds Institute for Textiles and Colour (LITAC), The university of Leeds, Prof Stephen Eichhorn from the University of Bristol, Prof Zijian Zheng from the Institute of Textile and Clothing at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Mr James Baker CEng FIET FRSA, CEO- Graphene@manchester, the University of Manchester, Professor Melik Demirel from Penn State University, USA, Anne Marr from University Arts London (UAL), and Dr Jun Chen from UCLA.

On behalf of the organising team, I am delighted to welcome you all to the first international conference on future textiles. The global textiles industry is currently facing a number of challenges in terms of materials, manufacturing and sustainability.  Addressing these challenges, the Future Textiles Conference will provide us opportunity for collaborative discussions to propose strategies for next generation clothing which is smart and sustainable. We very much look forward to hearing from you about your exciting research around new materials, digital manufacturing and sustainability for future textiles.” says Dr Nazmul Karim, Conference Chair and Associate Professor at CFPR, UWE Bristol.

The first Future Textiles Conference is one of the key outcomes of £7.7M of funding from Research England for Expanding Excellence in England awarded to the Centre for Print Research, which has enabled us to build a brand new Graphene Application Laboratory, attracting a  world-leading group of scientists to UWE Bristol including academics, fellows and PhD students, investigating novel applications and related technologies deriving from new materials, including graphene and other graphene-like, two-dimensional materials.

Dr Shaila Afroj, Co-organiser of the conference, says “This conference is going to be a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the great academics and industry experts who are leading the future textile industry, bringing all the exciting functionalities into your everyday clothing, yet care very much about the beautiful earth we live in. Eagerly looking forward to see all the great minds buzzing with new ideas, exploring new collaboration and getting excited to talk about all the new innovation. Hope to see you there …

More information on the Future Textiles Conference.

Southwest Public Health and Criminal Justice Academic Network

Posted on

By:

  • Helen Erswell (Consultant in Health Protection, SW Health Protection, UK Health Security Agency)
  • Rachel Campbell (Health and Justice Public Health Lead, Office of the Regional Director of Public Health Southwest, NHS England)
  • Kieran McCartan (Professor in Criminology, UWE Bristol)

On the 5th of October UWE Bristol hosted the 2nd Public Health and Criminal Justice network meeting at UWE. This was a hybrid event with 60 participants attending in person and online. The event was a great success and highlighted the growing recognition that public health, health, and criminal justice need to be working together to understand the causes, consequences, and responses to criminal behaviour. The network is a collaboration between national Health Service England, UK Health Security Agency, and UWE Bristol.

The event started off with a reminder of why the network was formed and its guiding principles, which are to better aligning criminal justice inputs, processes, and outcomes with public health framework, language, and policies. Over the past 5-10 years in the UK there has been a growing recognition that criminal behaviour is linked to health and wellbeing, therefore enforcing the need for health, public health, and criminal justice systems to work together. We can see this professional and policy recognition through the creation of community safety partnerships, violence reduction units, changes in policing, probation, and prisons to be more trauma informed; as well as significant shifts in policy and practice levels at City/region level (i.e., Bristol looking to be a trauma informed city and Plymouth taking a placed based approach to combat and prevent child abuse). From an academic perspective this is rooted in Epidemiological Criminology (EpiCrim) which unites and synthesises public health and criminal justice theories,, practices, and policies across the socio-ecological perspective (Individual, interpersonal, community, and societal) as well as the preventive remit (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary), while in practice this means multi-agency, collaborative working and a shared vision for service delivery that is service user informed and supportive  (in the case victims and preparators of crime). Which can be a challenge, for although the values of public health, health, and criminal justice are similar the language, measures, processes, and delivery are often not. The network is a place for people from across the board (we had attendees from health, public health, prison, policing, education, and academic) to discuss these issues, upskill, change the nature of the conversation, and learn new, and hopefully, good, practice.

The workshop speakers included:

Professor Hazel Kemshall (Emeritus Professor, De Montfort) University) discussing an upcoming collaborative HMI Probation with Kieran called ‘’Desistance, Recovery, and Justice Capital: Putting It All Together’’. In the talk Hazel focused on the importance of a rounded approach to understanding desistence and risk management, highlighting the important of professional engagement (Justice Capital) in delivering pro-social outcomes it a trauma informed, compassionate way. View her presentation below:

View the recording of her presentation.

Marie Cunningham (Senior Clinical Manager NECS) then discussed work she had been involved in as part of the ‘’Neurodiversity review across South West Health & Justice services’’, which highlighted the need for early identification of need at the first point of contact with the CJS. This would be supported by consistent standardised comprehensive professional training. Marie suggested that mandated easily accessible, succinct screening and diagnostic tools that could be used in situ would aid frontline professionals in identifying service users with neurodiversity issues sooner, and support their rehabilitation, desistence, treatment and risk management. View her presentation below:

Following on from Marie we had Dr Lucy Wainwright (Director of research at EPIC) & Paula Harriott (Head of Prisoner Engagement – Impact and Influencing, Prison Reform Trust).   Lucy and Paula spoke about their observations of neurodiversity in prison, sharing a video of a colleague discussing his lived experience of neurodiversity and the challenges that presented him within a prison setting. Their colleague highlighted that in their experience the prison system was not set up to respond effectively to people with neurodiversity and that they were often seen as challenging by staff, that they had to prove their neurodiversity and related experiences (they discussed having to prove that they had a university degree in spite of their neurodiversity) at every stage and requests for additional support were either not met or incorrectly met (i.e., getting the incorrect reading filter and staff assumptions, rather than engagement).  Support was given for more training and awareness of neurodiversity across the whole criminal justice system, and consideration given to the challenges facing policy makers, HMPPS staff, and prisoners at the current time in terms of resources. View their presentation below:

The final talk of the day was by Professor Debbie Stark Regional Director for The Office of Health Improvement & Disparities South West (OHID) and NHSE Regional Director of Public Health South West, who discussed ‘’Public Health Approaches-Health & Justice’’ and emphasised the importance of this network in breaking down some of the language, communication, and practice barriers between public health, health, and justice. In doing this Debbie reinforced the importance of partnership working, especially in challenging and difficult times. View her presentation below:

The event was a great success, with many people talking in the break and afterwards (online and in person) to make connections with each other. We have already started planning for the next one, in February 2023, and if you would like to know more, join the network, attend the event, get involved with the steering group or present at an event please do reach out. Please complete the online form to join the network.

Back to top