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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Southampton researchers awarded £380k for social care study

Published: 28 March 2018
Andrew Power and research project

Southampton researchers will gain new insight into emerging social care initiatives that are responding to the closure of day centres, thanks to a new grant from the Economic and Social Research Council.

The cross-faculty team from the University of Southampton includes Associate Professor Andrew Power from Geography and Environment, and Professor Melanie Nind from Education. Working with colleagues from the University of Dundee, they have been awarded nearly £380k to explore how a range of social care initiatives have been operating in four regions across the UK.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that the initiatives, typically led by community groups, are important for adults with learning disabilities in particular.  They have helped offer spaces to meet friends and socialise, and to learn about ways to live independently.

Using an ethnographic approach, the research team will identify what kinds of initiatives are emerging in local areas, and explore how the emerging networks can be effectively supported to innovate and evolve.

Caroline Speirs, Head of ‘Think Local, Act Personal’, a UK social care national partnership, has said:

“Given we are committed to co-production, we were heartened to see that the project has emerged through close consultation with people with learning disabilities.  We believe the project has the potential to create a positive impact for people with learning disabilities and we would be keen to link this closely with our partners.”

SPIRIT website (Southampton Platform for Inclusive Research and Ideas Together).


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