Key Projects and Collaborations

Creative Journeys: Arts and social relationships for older people

The Creative Journeys research was led by Professor Carol Munn-Giddings, Dr Hilary Bungay, Dr Ceri Wilson and Anna Dadswell, in partnership with Essex County Council Cultural and Community Engagement team and the Older People’s Research Group Essex, and funded by the Arts Council England Research Grants Programme 2016-2018. It explored the impact of participatory arts on the social relationships of older people in care homes and how this might help to tackle issues of loneliness and social isolation.

Reciprocal Encounters: Young adults leaving care

Through a European Union Marie Curie-Sklodowski Scholarship, Professor Maritta Törrönen from the University of Helsinki worked with Anglia Ruskin University, supported by Professor Carol Munn-Giddings, to conduct research on how to support the wellbeing of young adults leaving care in England and Finland. Young adults who had left care acted as co-researchers to explore their own experiences and the experiences of their peers, with a particular focus on the role of reciprocity and active emotional and social participation in society. Find out more about the research here:

The impact of bullying and self-exclusion from school

This research led by Dr Niamh O’Brien took place at the Red Balloon Learners Centre - a charity offering short term educational and therapeutic support to young people who have been traumatised by bullying or other circumstances. The findings showed that young people did not feel supported by their schools when they sought help for bullying, and participants described the negative impact that bullying and subsequent self-exclusion had on their mental health. Findings were presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bullying and sent to all Parliamentarians who have raised questions about bullying. Find out more about the research here:

Collaborative research to support women involved in prostitution

This research is led by Dr Melanie Boyce and supported by Anna Dadswell, in collaboration with a London based charity providing services to women with multiple and complex needs, and funded by the Big Lottery. It aims to evaluate a new outreach service for women at risk of prostitution, more specifically reflecting on the provision of a holistic, person-centred approach; the number of women supported and the role of those women in co-producing the service; and the potential to better understand credible strategies for exiting prostitution.

Effective support for self-help / mutual aid groups (ESTEEM)

ESTEEM was a national research project (2010-14) which explored the value of peer-led self-help groups in improving emotional wellbeing research, led by Dr Melanie Boyce and Professor Carol Munn-Giddings in collaboration with Self-Help UK and Nottingham University. The participatory research design led to the development of resources and training packages for practitioners and commissioners as to how they might best support self-help groups without damaging their peer-led and mutual aid ethos. Find out more about the research here:

South Essex Service User Research Group and North Essex Research Group

Coordinated by Maxine Nightingale, Service User Researcher, the South Essex Service User Research Group (SESURG) and the North Essex Research Group (NERG) are both hosted at Anglia Ruskin University and provide a forum for reviewing ongoing projects, planning new work and maintaining appropriate group procedures. Members have worked on commissioned consultations and evaluations, including developing research proposals, questionnaires, interview schedules and topic guides, conducting interviews, data entry and analysis, and contributing to reports and articles.

Older People’s Research Group Essex

After initial training to become citizen researchers with Anglia Ruskin University led by Professor Carol Munn-Giddings and Professor Andy McVicar, the Older People’s Research Group Essex (OPRGE) have developed into an independent group of volunteers and experts in the field of 'age' through life experience. They undertake a range of research activities with various partners including Anglia Ruskin University, Essex County Council and Age UK. Find out more about the OPRGE here: