Engaging Communities Research Centre

A research and knowledge exchange centre working at the interface of social, community, health and occupational psychology.

About us

Formed in 2023, the Engaging Communities Research Centre (ECRC) brings together researchers conducting innovative and world-leading research and knowledge exchange at the interface of social, community, health, and occupational psychology.

Our work seeks to makes a difference to communities and society, by developing psychologically and-community-informed solutions to contemporary social issues, through theoretically informed and methodologically sound innovative social research.

Our aim is to build a research and evidence base that details the ways in which our actions and experiences and our health and wellbeing are not just determined by our individual psychologies but also by the social structures and systems in which we live.
The work of ECRC spans different contexts and communities worldwide, and we have a strong reputation for developing meaningful community involvement and engagement approaches, including amplifying marginalised or silenced voices.

Our work is challenge-led, arising from our strong collaborative partnerships with communities, the voluntary and community sector, health organisations and structures, local government, and other key stakeholders. As a result, our research is informed, owned, and used by our partners, feeding into collaborative research agendas, the development of interventions and solutions, and regional, national, and international policy agendas.

Latest news

June 2024

20 June 2024: The Impact of Transport on Loneliness: the Challenge of Sustainability

Join us as we present our extensive learning on delivering interventions aimed at tackling loneliness. Between September 2022 and August 2023, we piloted three community transport initiatives aimed at reducing loneliness in isolated older adults by providing increased access, through transport, to social opportunities, community, connectedness, and services. All projects were delivered entirely through electric vehicles, to understand more about how this could be taken forward sustainably. 

At this public event, we will celebrate the positive impact that these pilot schemes have had in the lives of those it supported, and present some of the challenges of delivering sustainable community transport interventions. Finally, we will think about the legacy of this work, and the implications it will have on future loneliness services.

Communities Tackling Loneliness with Transport in Hampshire is a Department of Transport-funded collaborative project between Action Hampshire, the Good Neighbours Network, MHA Hampshire, Age Concern Hampshire, and the University of Winchester.

Book your free space here

Read the 2022 news release about the launch of the project

March 2024

ECRC providing training in community-led research - approaches, insights and impact

The centre is currently providing participatory research training for University of Winchester staff. The training, which is entirely co-produced with community co-researchers, draws on insights from the Raising Voices in Research project, which brought together regional health services, the voluntary sector, community and research organisations to reach underrepresented communities, with the aim of increasing diversity in research. The project was led by Action Hampshire and funded by NHS England Innovation Research and Life Sciences. In 2023, Dr Gray carried out an evaluation of the project.

Call for researchers to participate in new study

The ECRC is undertaking research on the problem of imposter participants and fraudulent data in applied qualitative research. You do not need to have experienced this issue yourself.

We would love to have participation from researchers from ANY discipline, including colleagues working in applied qualitative research, and across all levels of experience. The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Find out more and take part in the survey.

Contact us

To find out more about our work and how you can work with us, contact the Conveners:

Dr Debra Gray, Reader in Psychology

Dr Margaret Husted, Reader in Psychology

Explore more

Psychology research

Public engagement with Research