Browser does not support script.

Institute for Social Justice

Current funded projects

Our current funded projects are listed on this page.

Listening to community perspectives of forced migrants: Engaging refugees and asylum seekers in service design

VCSE Partner: Give a Gift

York St John Researchers: Raphaela Berding-Barwick

Refugees and asylum seekers are often seen as objects, or passive recipients of support, rather than active and equal members in our communities.

This project explores how inequalities in health and wellbeing for refugees and asylum seekers can be addressed through involving them in service design and delivery. It will provide valuable insight into how culturally appropriate practices can be developed to address inequalities in health and wellbeing for refugees and asylum seekers, a group which experiences various forms of hostilities and is often silenced.

Community led tourism in York

VCSE Partner: Good Organisation (Social Ventures) CIC

York St John Researchers: Dr Brendan Paddison, Dr Jenny Hall and Dan Crawforth

The Good Organisation are seeking deeper insight into the disconnect between York city's most marginalised communities and the positive benefits of heritage-based tourism.

The project will map and analyse examples of community-led tourism initiatives, both in York and elsewhere, which could potentially be replicated locally or across similar destinations throughout the UK, and identify how community led solutions can act as catalysts for positive change in the context of sustainable tourism destination development.

Reimagining Door 84 through youth and community participatory research and co-creation

VCSE Partner: Door 84 Youth and Community Centre

York St John Researchers: Dr Amy Holmes, Professor Tom Dobson, Matt Coward-Gibbs and Dr Charlotte Haines Lyon

Through participatory methods and co-creation, this research aims to empower Door 84 users and wider community members to redesign the physical spaces of Door 84. In doing so, the project also aims to contribute to the research literature on youth and community participatory research and co-creation to understand the benefits of using collaborative methods to work with these groups.

Men's suicide prevention impact and evaluation project

VCSE Partner: Menfulness

York St John Researchers: Dr Gary Shepherd

Menfulness offer online and offline support groups to men of a particular social group at greater risk of suicide.

The aim of this research is to provide Menfulness with information on the attitudes, opinions and insights of their service users, their volunteers and their funding partners. A service evaluation is important as the Menfulness service is growing rapidly and widening its provision.

Foregrounding the experiences of neurodivergent learners and educators, with Spectrum First Education Ltd

VCSE Partner: Spectrum First Education Ltd

York St John Researchers: Dr Lorna Hamilton and Dr Stephanie Petty

Spectrum First Education Ltd and researchers in Psychology at York St John University are working in partnership to understand and improve the experiences of neurodivergent students in higher education. Using a combination of on-campus installations and online forums, the project team aim to map zones of best practice across campus.

Findings from this project will be used to inform training for universities with the aim of promoting practical and implementable whole-systems approaches to supporting neurodivergent students to thrive at university.

Mapping Tadcaster's sustainable skills: Community generated knowledge and skills for a more sustainable future

VCSE Partner: Tadcrafters CIC

York St John Researchers: Dr Vicki Pugh and Dr Tom Ratcliffe

Sustainable Tadcaster is a newly formed coalition of residents, led by a steering group which includes members of 3 VCSE organisations: Tadcrafters CIC, Tadcaster and Rural CIC, and Zero Waste Leeds.

The focus of this research is to facilitate and investigate the Tadcaster community as equal partners in the co-production of sustainable initiatives. For Sustainable Tadcaster, tangible insight into the community's skills and actions in relation to practices that may be deemed 'sustainable' and how these are connected will be crucial to the group's next stages of engagement.

Using arts-based methods to build participant-led evaluation for Under the Stars

VCSE Partner: Under the Stars

York St John Researchers: Dr Kelsie Acton

Under the Stars (UtS) uses creativity and the performing arts to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism. This project aims to investigate the varied reasons that people attend sessions and the value they place on what they do at UtS.

The research will use this data to develop an evaluation framework that ensures UtS are monitoring the quality of their work from the viewpoint of their participants and artists, and using techniques that are accessible, creative and meaningful.

Exploring music business, diversity and networks within East London's music ecology

VCSE Partner: True Cadence

York St John Researchers: Dr Zheng Chai and Dr Jo Gibson

This project is focussed on growing music opportunities for young people in Barking and Dagenham, London.

It aims to better understand the borough’s position within East London’s music ecology by 1) mapping local music activity and networks, 2) asking young people what they think about music provisions in the borough and what, if anything is needed, and 3) considering the extent to which True Cadence’s organisational structure supports its aims.