CHERISH, a partnership of community organisations, communities and researchers, aims to identify new ways to engage seldom heard communities in research about healthy living.
Why we are doing the project
People living in low-income areas spend on average nearly 20 years more in poorer health compared to those living in wealthier areas. Factors such as insecure jobs, unsuitable housing and the cost-of-living crisis can create barriers to making positive choices for individual’s health and wellbeing. Additionally, research and healthy living initiatives regularly fail to reach and engage the people who may benefit the most.
CHERISH aims to address this disconnection between research and real-world communities, through a collaborative and community-led approach. A partnership of researchers from NIHA and the wider UEA, Norfolk Citizens Advice and the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford and the communities they work with, are finding out new ways of doing research about healthy living to inform future research and practice.
What we are doing
CHERISH is developing and trying out sustainable participatory research approaches to engage, support and empower people to live healthier and happier lives. For instance, making a collage, sharing stories, and social activities such as group walks. We will ask the communities which approaches might engage them in research, try them out in small groups and ask people what they think. We will focus our discussions on eating behaviours and physical activity, which alongside smoking and alcohol consumption most impact people living in low-income areas.
Outputs of the project
We will gain insights about new approaches to engage communities in research about how to best support people to stay healthy. This will help us develop new research which is more suited to the needs of these communities. We will share our findings in appropriate ways: for example, a short video, presentation or poster from the artwork for the communities and research participants, and reports and presentations for local Government, NHS and academic community.
CHERISH is funded through a Programme Development Grant by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR205176).
This includes representatives from Norfolk Citizens Advice, the Charles Burrell Centre, a lived experience co-production group, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich Institute of Healthy Ageing, UEA School of Health Sciences and Norwich Medical School, and CreativeUEA.