Employed at York initially from 2008 to 2013, and again from 2016, I have worked on a number of projects within the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. I run the Making Research Count project, a research dissemination and knowledge transfer programme, which brings together academics and practitioners in the fields of adult social care and children’s social work to make the best use of research findings.
I was also the research coordinator for a Higher Education Academy funded project, which is exploring how higher education institutions can provide social policy students with improved employment prospects relevant to their area of study by focusing on employability issues and developing solutions to practical problems in the emerging social enterprise sector. This project built on the work I previously undertook in 2010, which focused on developing the Department’s research profile in social enterprise.
In addition, I perform a range of activities to maintain and improve partnerships with local social work employers. These have included supporting the Social Work Partnership Board, consultation with partners on curriculum development, matching students to placement opportunities, and exploring opportunities for knowledge transfer.
Having grown up in York, I moved away to study at the University of Birmingham, from where I graduated with a degree in Public Policy in 1997. I went on to gain a PGDip in Housing from Birmingham City University, and became a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. From 1999 to 2008, I held various positions in the social housing sector, including housing officer, research and strategy officer, social investment manager, and latterly as head of service with responsibility for corporate strategy, research and performance at the West Midlands largest housing association. I have worked on a number of freelance commissions, mainly undertaking housing market research projects which inform decision-making on the future supply of affordable housing. From 2013 to 2015, I temporarily moved to New Zealand, where I worked for Wellington City Council as the manager for homeless services contracts and city centre community safety.
I am a Trustee Director for the Wilf Ward Family Trust, a large regional charity which provides housing, care and community services to people with learning and physical disabilities. I also hold a postgraduate qualification in Political Theory, awarded by the University of Sheffield.