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Institute for Social Justice

Community Research Grants

Our grants support research partnerships between York St John University and the community.

The Institute for Social Justice is seeking to support research partnerships between York St John University and community-led organisations in the voluntary, charity and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

Our objective is to ensure that research undertaken is relevant and impactful and to conduct research in a more open and democratic manner.

To better enable this in 2022, we launched a new scheme of Community Research Grants in which VCSE groups were invited to present issues or themes that are important to them and which they would like researching. We have received applications and are currently matching these with appropriate university-based researchers.

Our current funded projects are listed here:

Health inequalities and rurality: an exploratory case study of North Yorkshire

VCSE Partner: Healthwatch North Yorkshire

York St John Researchers: Sarah Baker and Mark Mierzwinski

The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between rurality and health and social care services. The aim of this project is to determine if it is necessary to categorise rurality as a geographical factor when addressing rising levels of health inequalities.

Benefits will be primarily driven through Healthwatch North Yorkshire's information sharing, championing and campaigning work.

Investigating the role of peer support in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse

VCSE Partner: York in Recovery

York St John Researchers: Nick Rowe and Converge Evaluation Research Team

Support from peers is a key element of recovery from drug and/or alcohol misuse. It features in the approaches of established organisations such as AA and Changing Lives. York in Recovery complements the work of these organisations offering a more informal peer support model.

The aim of our research will be to understand the perceptions and experiences of those who attend meetings and to gain a clearer understanding of the role it plays in the wider recovery community.

Disability Access to Bluespaces

VCSE Partner: Open Country

York St John Researchers: Catherine Heinemeyer

The right to swim, or otherwise enjoy 'blue spaces' (lakes, seas, lidos reservoirs and rivers), is far less well established than the right to roam in the UK, because of pollution as well as land and watercourse ownership. These obstacles are multiplied in the case of disabled people, whose access to blue spaces for open water swimming, kayaking, sailing and other outdoor water-based activities is limited by numerous physical barriers.

The project will work with Open Country, a Yorkshire-based charity promoting and facilitating disabled people's access to the countryside, to investigate and address some of these barriers.

York Archaeological Trust – Diversification of visitors and organisation

VCSE Partner: York Archaeological Trust

York St John Researchers: Brendan Paddison, Jenny Hall, Tom Ratcliffe, Rebecca Biggins, Artemis Alexiou

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) is seeking to develop a better understanding of the social and cultural diversity of its audience. YAT is particularly keen to enhance audience diversity in terms of ethnicity, disability, social mobility, age, gender, LGBTQ+ and faith.

This project explores how York Archaeological Trust can build diversity into its museum programming and community work.

Public sexual harm of women and girls: The dancefloor project

VCSE Partner: Bolshee CIC

YSJ Researchers: Anna Macklin, Jenn Cassarly, Melanie Douglass

This project focuses on young women's lived experiences of sexual harm in public spaces and their perceptions of barriers to public safety. An art installation consisting of a dancefloor experience will be produced, designed to elicit women's experiences of sexual harm, barriers to safety, and testimonials of how they want to be treated in public spaces.

Based on the data collected, a range of resources will be produced to highlight experiences of sexual harm and how women want to be treated in public spaces.

Researching anti-racism practices in York

VCSE Partner: Inclusive Equal Rights UK

York St John Researchers: Steven Hirschler, Anna Waistnage, Cintia Silva Huxter

The aim of this research is to support IERUK's development of an anti-racism and inclusion strategy and action due to be submitted to the City of York council in February 2023. This research will illuminate the extent to which ethnic minority groups within York are exposed to racism and discrimination in the areas of education, healthcare and policing to facilitate the production of a comprehensive, evidence-based anti-racism and inclusion strategy.

The working relationship between IERUK and York St John University researchers will cover a range of research activities (both qualitative and quantitative) in a collaborative fashion.

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