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GO Well Spring e-update

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The latest newsletter from Glasgow Community Health and Wellbeing Research and Learning Programme is available now.

GoWell - Glasgow community health and wellbeing research and learning programme Forward to a Friend | Website  
April 2017

In this issue

50th article published
Briefing papers
RTPI awards
Community panel
Academic outputs
Save the date
A personal achievement
GoWell online
  Follow us on Twitter: @GoWellOnline  


Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of the GoWell e-update. The past six months have been a productive time for the team in terms of analysis, write-up and publication and this issue highlights a number of new publications since the last e-update. The period has also been marked by a number of successes including our 50th academic article being published and awards from the Royal Town Planning Institute. This productivity and success has extended to the work of our Community Panel and an update on their work is also provided. 

50th article published

Our 50th academic article – on physical activity and mental health – was published towards the end of last year. 

Reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of GoWell, these 50+ academic articles are published in journals from a variety of fields including: housing; urban studies; planning; geography; social policy; public policy; public health; epidemiology; psychology; migration studies; and youth studies. A full list of our published journal articles can be found here

Commenting on this significant milestone Principal Investigator Professor Ade Kearns said:

“We are rightly proud of this major achievement for the study, which reflects the tremendous efforts of all the GoWell team members over the years, both past and present. We are also grateful for the ongoing trust and support of our sponsors, who have allowed us to pursue our wide-ranging agenda in the knowledge that we will deliver results that are relevant to their activities, and to the interests and needs of disadvantaged communities.”

In addition to these academic articles, we have also produced 29 briefing papers summarising the implications of our findings for policy-makers and practitioners, annual progress reports, findings reports and 150 community newsletters. All of these can be accessed from the publications section of the GoWell website


Briefing papers

We have published three new briefing papers since the last e-update and summaries of these, along with links to the full papers are provided below.

Briefing paper 27: Impacts of the Commonwealth Games 2014 on young people in the East End of Glasgow

This briefing paper from GoWell East presents findings from a qualitative study which explored to what extent, and how, young people’s horizons might have altered as a result of the Commonwealth Games (CWG). The study involved young people, aged 14-16, from two East End schools, in individual interviews and focus groups, before and after the Games. Interviews were also conducted with key informants.

A reputational turnaround for the East End was seen as the dominant legacy benefit. On an individual level, support for the hosting did not necessarily translate into engagement with the various cultural and sporting activities leading to the CWG, including the event itself. Only a small minority of young people attributed recent changes in personal goals or in lifestyle behaviours to the CWG but generally felt that life had returned to 'normal' post-event.

The findings highlight the inherent tension between the short-lived thrill of the ‘spectacle’ and the anticipated longevity of its impacts. A recommendation for policy-makers is that they maintain their focus on the social regeneration of the East End post-event and re-double their efforts in engaging with young people.

Briefing paper 28: Food bank use among residents of Glasgow's deprived neighbourhoods

Using the fourth wave (2015) of our community survey this paper presents findings on the scale of food bank use and the characteristics of food bank users and non-users based on a range of variables including: socio-demographic variables; personal factors; health variables; and financial variables.

As well as statistical information, the paper includes analysis of qualitative data from in-depth, follow-up interviews with some of the respondents who reported difficulty affording food. Respondents' experiences and perceptions of food banks and their reasons for using or not using them are described. This builds on and helps to illustrate the quantitative findings, showing, for example, that participants strongly identified feelings of shame and stigma with food bank use and this was often a reason why people did not use them.

We have produced an infographic summarising the findings and further information on the paper can be found here.

Briefing paper 29: The benefits of new build housing provided through regeneration in Glasgow

The paper uses the fourth wave of the GoWell community survey conducted in 2015 to compare responses by occupants of new build social housing (built since 2003) with those by occupants of improved social sector housing. Responses to a range of topics are compared including: housing satisfaction and condition; feelings of status, control and safety at home; the affordability of housing and related utility costs; neighbourhood satisfaction and condition; neighbourhood services and amenities; community belonging and social contacts; and health behaviours.

We found that new build housing provides additional housing and environmental quality gains over and above those enjoyed by the occupants of improved housing, and that these advantages might also be reflected in other benefits associated with new build housing in respect of affordability, status and home-based health behaviours.

In social terms, we found some community-related benefits for new build occupants in respect of trust and reliance on neighbours, but not in terms of reported social interaction or mixing.

Further information on this paper can be found here.


RTPI awards

GoWell Panel Members at the Scottish ParliamentWe were delighted to be highly commended in two out of five categories at the 2016 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Research Excellence

Pictured with the awards are (from left to right): Ade Kearns, Cat Tabbner, who picked up the award in the wider engagement category, and Dr Julie Clark, who received the award for the Early Career Researcher category.

Cat has led the establishment of, and work with, the GoWell Community Panel. Made up of residents from across our 15 study areas, the panel has met regularly over the past 18 months as a capacity building tool for participants and as a two-way knowledge exchange mechanism for GoWell. An update on the panel is provided below or you can find out more information here.

Julie has led the GoWell East study of the impacts of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the related regeneration activity. Further information on this can be found here. Julie has now moved on to a new post at the University of the West of Scotland and we thank her for all her hard work on GoWell and wish her all the best in her new post. 


Community panel

The GoWell Community Panel completed its workshops last year. Panel members are being supported to embed their learning within their own organisations.

In total 18 residents participated in seven panel workshops, hosted in GoWell study areas. The Panel worked with GoWell researchers, housing associations and community groups to explore key GoWell findings, research methods and support the translation of evidence into policy recommendations for the Scottish Parliament.

Empowerment outcomes for Panel members have included both educational and personal achievements, manifested in two broad ways. The first type of empowerment comprised increasing levels or competencies in knowledge (of GoWell research and local regeneration projects), skills, learning and confidence (people skills, group work, presenting, interpreting information, planning and organising), and strengthening relationships (within the Panel and in their local groups). The second type of empowerment consisted of ‘events’ that occurred as a result of the first kind of engagement combined with pragmatic opportunities. These included voting for the first time in the UK general election, using computers for the first time, being highly commended by the Royal Town Planning Institute for quality of work (see above), and transitioning from participating in local community events to planning and implementing these.

Panel members have been supported to share their learning in three main ways. Firstly, workshops were hosted in Pollokshields and Barmulloch to provide Panel members' groups and stakeholders with first-hand learning experiences of methods used by the Panel and insights into empowerment outcomes. Secondly, Panel members received public speaking training and have shared their GoWell experiences with local groups, a national conference and a University of Glasgow public health seminar. Thirdly, Panel members are being supported by GoWell and Glasgow Kelvin College to undertake local projects in their own areas via the Community Achievement Awards.

Learning has been captured throughout and is being formally written into a briefing paper in collaboration with GoWell Panel members.


Academic outputs

Five new journal articles have been published since the last e-update.

Curl A, Clark J, Kearns A. Household car adoption and financial distress in deprived urban communities: A case of forced car ownership? Transport Policy 2017 (in press).

Allik M, Kearns A. "There goes the fear”: feelings of safety at home and in the neighbourhood: the role of personal, social and service factors. Journal of Community Psychology 2016. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21875.

Further information on this paper is available here.

Curl A, Kearns A. Housing improvements, fuel payment difficulties and mental health in deprived communities. International Journal of Housing Policy 2016. DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2016.1248526.

Further information on this paper is available here.

Mason P, Curl A, Kearns A. Domains and levels of physical activity are linked to adult mental health and wellbeing in deprived neighbourhoods: A cross-sectional study. Mental Health and Physical Activity 2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2016.07.001

Kearns A, Whitley E, Egan M, Tabbner C, Tannahill C. Healthy Migrants in an Unhealthy City?  The Effects of Time on the Health of Migrants Living in Deprived Areas of Glasgow. Journal of International Migration and Integration 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-016-0497-6

Further information on this paper is available here.

You can also view our full list of journal articles on the GoWell website.


Save the date

The GoWell annual event will be held on the morning of Wednesday 20th September 2017.
This will focus largely on the findings from the fourth and final wave of the GoWell community health and wellbeing survey alongside new outputs from several of our qualitative studies, the ecological component of GoWell and learning from the GoWell Community Panel. An invite and further information on the event will be sent closer to the time but in the meantime, please save the date in your diary. 

A personal achievement

Ade Kearns has raised £2,700 for four community groups working within three of our study areas by running an incredible twenty-five 10km races!

Ade can been seen in this photograph presenting a cheque to 3D – a group based in Drumchapel who provide a range of activities and support to children and families. 

The other groups he raised funds for were: Kingsway Court Health & Wellbeing Centre in Scotstoun; the Nan McKay Community Hall in St Andrews Drive; and Rosemount Lifelong Learning in Royston. 

Ade was no race-running veteran and joined the Garscube Harriers running club in order to train for the challenge which he managed to complete in just 16 months. Asked why he embarked on such a challenge he said:

"I had for some time wanted to help our study communities and give something back to them beyond our research findings. Taking up competitive running to raise funds for community groups seemed very appropriate given GoWell's interests in health and wellbeing!"


GoWell online



Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates from the team @GoWellOnline.

For comments or questions about GoWell or its activities, please contact us via our feedback form.

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