ILAS Seedcorn Funded workshops

Addressing children’s and young people’s health and well-being using a collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach

Promoting and supporting collaborative interdisciplinary research across all faculties in the University is integral, not only in developing the University’s research capacity and innovative research-informed teaching, but also in addressing complex social and health challenges within our communities. Funded by the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two workshops were held at Keele Hall in June/July 2018 to bring together researchers and students from the School of Psychology and the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences under the banner of the Children and Young People’s Research Network, www.keele.ac.uk/cyp.

During the first workshop, participants each gave a brief presentation on their research interests, with talks on: health literacy; children and chronic pain; the ‘White Water Writers’ project; evaluating schools-based interventions; participatory-action research; and research methods in epidemiology.

During the second workshop, drafting of two grant applications began. Informed by the Green Paper on transforming children and young people’s mental health provision, the first application centres around understanding and addressing children’s mental health literacy. In the Autumn, the team (led by Prof Joanne Protheroe) hope to be in a position to submit an application to the North West Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership for an ESRC CASE studentship, in partnership with a social enterprise called Innovating Minds, see: www.innovatingmindscic.com.

The second project plans to explore using creative writing with children suffering from chronic pain. White Water Writers is a project led by Keele University (Dr Yvonne Skipper) and Royal Holloway, University of London. It enables groups of up to 10 people (children and adults) to write and publish their own novel in just five days; see: www.whitewaterwriters.com. Given the collaborative nature of the project and the use of creative writing, the team are motivated to apply this concept to children with chronic pain, who could benefit greatly from the experience. Possible funding bodies include: NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) or Arthritis Research UK.

These initiatives would not have been possible without the collaboration and insight from different disciplines. For the CYP research network, the workshops have enabled them to expand through the inclusion of the Children and Lifecourse Group from the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, helping to grow the network across the university and beyond.

Acknowledgments: Huge thanks to Rosie Lacey for writing the funding application.

Seedcorn Funded Workshop - 1378x1034

Pictured are the workshop participants with workshop leads Profs Kate Dunn and Claire Fox