I have been working as a post-doctoral research assistant for the University of Brighton alongside the University of Brunel, London, Tampere University, Anglia Ruskin University and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing researching how to improve wellbeing.
Our research group has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Lottery Community Fund. It is a collaborative project that has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders from varying fields.
The aim of this group was to produce systematic reviews synthesising the current evidence base, of both published and unpublished studies, to see how participatory arts and sports/physical exercise could enhance wellbeing and alleviate loneliness across the life course (16+ years). We produced three reviews exploring: places/spaces, intangible assets and volunteering.
Our work will inform governmental policy around wellbeing in the UK. For instance, it might help how the government issue guidelines around making a public space that offers sport more inclusive.
As a result of this three-year project, we have co-authored several papers. The latest two are in submission: ‘The Role of Social Capital in Participatory Arts for Wellbeing: Findings from a Qualitative Systematic Review’ and ‘Visual Arts and Subjective Wellbeing: Qualitative Findings from a Systematic Review of the Outcomes of Engagement with the Visual Arts for Adults with Mental Health Conditions’, which are in submission.