22 February 2022

New research which will gather evidence of the positive impact community organisations have on public health in the largest UK study of its kind will be supported by the Institute for Connected Communities (ICC) at UEL.

Led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), and funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the £1.5million project will work with communities to investigate the links between community, health, and wellbeing.

The three-year study will evaluate the public health spin-offs provided by a wide range of community-led organisations and activities, such as walking groups, cookery lessons, language classes, community gardens and cafes.

Dr Marcello Bertotti, Reader in Community Health, will lead for UEL with the support of Emma Clewett (research assistant). Dr Bertotti and Ms Clewett will be collaborating with a number of community-led organisations to understand more about how they operate.

Dr Bertotti said:

We aim to design a programme theory which will enable us all to build models of community-led organisations that are scalable and sustainable in different contexts across the UK. Overall, this will lead to better support for residents across the UK, particularly those in the most vulnerable groups."

Researchers from GCU, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Queen's University Belfast and Bournemouth University will also work with communities to discover how they improve people's lives and help drive positive change.

Community-led organisations in and around Glasgow, Bournemouth, Belfast, and East London, will take part in the project, entitled Common Health Assets.

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