Part of our function as researchers is to bring our work to the attention of the public in order to raise awareness of issues and to inform public debate.  Engaging with the public and a range of other stakeholders can also help in the development or refinement of our research agendas. 

Here we highlight some of the different methods we have used for knowledge exchange and engagement.

Working with Communities in the East End of Glasgow

Being based in the Bridgeton, Glasgow, researchers at the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) saw an opportunity to work directly with the local community to produce research and evidence that could benefit people living and working in the East End of the city. The Centre therefore established a knowledge exchange hub comprising of residents and organisations to develop working relationships and create opportunities to co-produce research with the wider community.

One of the first tasks was to counter the stigma associated with living in this part of the city, so the team spoke to people who felt 'at home' in the East End. However, we do not shy away from the real issues that people experience. In particular, the group identified mental health as a key concern and so we've worked with residents and local housing providers to try to understand and share good practice in supporting people's mental health through housing and related support services. This work is ongoing.

'At home in the East End'

A video was produced as part of this work, which you can view here.

Raising Awareness of the Experience of EU Migrants in the UK under Brexit

Collage of photos with some text introducing researcher

As part of her research project Living TogetherDr Anna Gawlewicz was invited to participate in a floating educational experience. She joined the charity Peace Boat on their 102nd global voyage for the segment from Motreal (Canada) to Greenock (Scotland) to deliver a series of lectures to their 1,000 passengers.  The lectures included the following:

  • Free movement in the European Union: East-West migration
  • Brexit (focus: UK society, EU citizens in the UK & British citizens in the EU)
  • Distinctiveness of Scotland in the context of Brexit
  • ‘Migrants matter to cities’: Polish migrants in the East End of Glasgow

Anna also delivered a workshop on ‘How EU migrants in the UK feel about Brexit’  to explore stories of EU citizens in the UK/Scotland and the impacts of Brexit on their lives and futures. 

Explaining Housing Affordability

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) strives to communicate and disseminate housing research and evidence in easily accessible formats to improve understanding and help to resolve the UK's housing problems.

In partnership with the Affordable Housing Commission, the Centre produced a short animation to explain why housing in the UK is so expensive.

'Why is housing so expensive?'

You can view the animation here.

Personalisation of Social Care

Dr Charlotte Pearson and Professor Nick Watson (Sociology) made a podcast to convey their research findings to social care practitioners. 

The podcast was recorded for (a podcast series looking at social services in Scotland, targeted at practitioners and others working in the sector). It focuses on a discussion between Charlotte and Nick around their work on Self-Directed Support (SDS). SDS is the main policy framework for the personalisation of social care in Scotland and was implemented in 2014 to promote transformative change for service users. The podcast draws on long-term research in this area, which highlights the radical origins of policy - emanating from the disabled peoples' movement in the 1970s - to the more recent limits of SDS in promoting substantive change.

SDS policy allows its users to choose between four options, ranging from a direct payment made to them, to facilitating their support through a third party, maintaining their existing support through their local health and social care partnership (HSCP) or a mixture of the three. Data collated by Pearson and Watson since the early years of SDS show that the most flexible of these options - the direct payment - is still only used by a very small number, with most still receiving their support from their HSCP. They also highlight the broader problems of personalisation in social care in promoting radical change, both in Scotland and across other OECD countries.

Tenements Talking

Tenements Talking is a walking workshop on Glasgow tenements’ change over the years.  It involved participants walking with Dr Bilge Serin among the tenements and listening to their tumultuous stories. During the workshop, people walked among Glasgow’s tenements as living monuments of the change of Glasgow’s urban scene within the last century.  Bilge and the other walkers discussed tenements’ stories starting from their construction and moving to the rent strikes which took place in Glasgow tenement neighbourhoods and spread over the UK. They also discussed tenements’ adaptation to modern life and technology over the years.

The workshop was initially designed for Architecture Fringe (an architecture festival happening across Scotland),  and repeated for the Festival of Social Sciences.