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Centre for Citizenship and Community

Centre for Citizenship and Community

Contact Details

If you would like more information please contact

Prof David Morris - Director
Eden Building, Room ER309, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
01772 895461 |

Dr Julie Ridley - Co-Director
Eden Building, Room ER324, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
01772 893402 |

Jez Buffin - Business Planning & Development Lead (Academic enquiries)
Eden Building, Room ER317, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
01772 895408 |

Ellen Dobson - Research and Business Administrator (Administrative enquiries)
Eden Building, Room ER326, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
01772 894364 |

Established in 2013 in partnership with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and in collaboration with the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the London School of Economics, the Centre for Citizenship and Community in the School of Social Work, Care and Community is concerned with research approaches that are co-produced, and with building research evidence that emphasises the importance of working with community capacity and assets. It brings together UCLan academics and external expert associates passionate about tackling social injustice and enhancing the social connectedness and health of communities.

Expertise and Subject Areas

The Centre uses a Connected Communities approach, created in response to the growing need for the study and development in practice, of effective community approaches to engaging communities and working with the assets and value that they represent; an approach which combines community based - participatory research methods and social network theory.

Through co-produced research that takes a ‘citizen social science approach’ – that is, involving people in various ways in designing, doing, interpreting and disseminating research - we provide support for policy, research, learning and local practice in community engagement and social inclusion. Our vision is of services that are designed to integrate, in everyday practice, the value of social and community assets and networks in achieving wellbeing and inclusion outcomes. We do this by combining our expertise with that of a network of associates and other university partners to work with service organisations and communities, across the spectrum of social policy areas and public service settings.

Our principles are: change through networks; social value capture; organising for inter-dependence and a culture of co-operation.  The nature of our research is participatory involving people as ‘community researchers’ and ‘citizen scientists’; reflexive and qualitative, mixing methods as required; diverse in context and participation; and practice focused.

Connected Communities theory of change:  Understand, Involve, Connect

Connected Communities theory of change

We suggest that ‘community capital’ can be grown through a way of working that follows the Connected Communities principles of Understanding the local situation, relationships and patterns of isolation; Involving people in creating solution(s); and aiming to Connect people to one another to reduce isolation and create more connected communities.

Our body of community-focused work considers personal and community connections, providing a basis for learning about whether and how people are engaged in, contribute to, or are supported by their communities and how they feel about these processes and the communities of which they are part. Our varied portfolio of work includes engaging with residents in local areas, health and social care, housing, ageing and dementia, mental health, learning disabilities, young people, policing, and social cohesion.


Through the Centre we can offer dedicated support Integrated Programmes for developing social and community-based commissioning:

  • Service development and redesign, including economic modelling and cost-benefit analysis, organisational, leadership and workforce development

Professor David Morris presented his research report findings on the value of connected communities at the RSA Communities Creating Health & Wellbeing event 30/11.

In response to an invitation from the Wellesley Institute in Toronto, Ontario, Professor David Morris undertook a week-long lecture tour on his research and the work of the Centre for Citizenship and Community on Connected Communities.

This is backed up by:

Opportunities for bespoke accredited and CPD learning programmes
Programme evaluation and research evidence
The Centre for Citizenship and Community works nationally and internationally with our partners and associates to offer help in achieving the best possible outcomes for organisations that see their communities as key partners in their success.

When the Centre works with your organisation, you also have the opportunity to become a stakeholder in the Centre, to have your work internationally recognised, built upon for wider benefit, to help broaden the base of evidence and inform the course of policy.

On 21st April 2016, following the ODESSA (ageing in place programme) events at Tsinghua University with colleagues from France and China, David Morris and Manjit Bola travelled from Beijing to Ningbo in southern China’s Zhejiang province with colleagues from Tsinghua to launch ODESSA’S Connected Communities work package in China. The initial meeting hosted by senior local government officials and community leaders, provided for a discussion on the context of community activity in Ningbo led by the lead for older people’s services in the city and a presentation by David on the Connected Communities study and its team’s proposals to use the approach to understand the role and potential of community networks in Ningbo as part of the ODESSA programme.

The meeting was joined for David’s presentation by older people from communities closely linked to two of the older people’s service, or community centres in the city. David, Manjit, together with the lead for the work package in China, Professor Pei and her colleagues then visited the two communities and their centres. Great enthusiasm was expressed for the programme and the scope for understanding the value of connectivity embodied in work with older people which in Ningbo is concerned with local inter-generational voluntary support matched to person and need and with forms of continuing life-long learning opportunities.

Supported by David and Manjit, Professor Pei and her team will now go on to develop the fieldwork tools and community research approach with local people in order to complete the Chinese fieldwork for the Connected Communities work package during the remainder of 2016.


Publications and Outputs


Ridley, J. & Morris, D. (2018) Preston Connected Communities Project: A study of the social and community networks of residents of Broadgate and Hartington.  Preston: Centre for Citizenship and Community.

Wilson, S. (2018) Connected Communities with Cumbria Constabulary: Promoting Community Capital in Vulnerable Localities. Project Report. West Lakes: Centre for Citizenship and Community.

Morris, D., Bola, M., Broome, S., Graham, M & Sewell, H. (2018) Connected Street Associations. A study of the social and community networks of residents of Kingstanding, Birmingham to identify local needs and improve wellbeing. Year 1 Report.  Preston: Centre for Citizenship and Community.

Broome, S. (2016) The Missing Million: In Search of the Loneliest in our communities.  London: Campaign to End Loneliness

Broome, S. (2016) The Missing Million: A Practical Guide to Identifying and Talking about Loneliness.  London: Campaign to End Loneliness.

Parsfield, M., Morris, D., Bola, M., Knapp, M., Park, A., Yoshioka, M., & Marcus, G. (2015) Community Capital: The Value of Connected Communities. Project Report. London: RSA Action and Research Centre. In CLOK

Bola, M., Coldham, T., & Robinson, Z. (2014) A study of personalisation and the factors affecting the uptake of personal budgets by mental health service users in the UK.  Preston: Centre for Citizenship and Community/Mind.

Morris, D., Ridley, J., Sewell, H. & Robinson, Z. (2014) An Investigation of Kirklees' strategy of community investment as a contribution to positive social impact and long term financial savings.  Preston: Centre for Citizenship and Community.

Neumark, T, Norris, E., Marcus, G. & Broome, S. (2012) The Community Footprint: Shared value for business and communities.  London: RSA.

Dellot, B., Marcus, G. & Broome, S. (2012) ChangeMakers: Identifying the key people driving positive change in local areas.   London: RSA

Marcus, G., Neumark, T. & Broome, S. (2011) Power Lines.  London: RSA.

Broome, S., Rowson, J. & Jones, A. (2010) Connected Communities How social networks power and sustain the Big Society. Technical Report London: RSA.

Journal Articles

Webber, M. P., Morris, D., Howarth, S., Fendt-Newlin, M., Treacy, S. & McCrone, P., (2018) Effect of the Connecting People Intervention on Social Capital: A Pilot Study.  Research on Social Work Practice. DOI: 10.1177/1049731517753685

Kidd, S.A., Frederick, T., Tarasoff, L., Virdee, G., Lurie, S., Davidson, L., Morris, D. & McKenzie, K. (2017) A Qualitative Description of Community Service, Business and Organization Perspectives on Mental Illness and Inclusion. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation . ISSN 1548-7768 (In Press) Item availability may be restricted.

Kidd, S.A., Frederick, T., Tarasoff, L., Virdee, G., Lurie, S., Davidson, L., Morris, D. & McKenzie, K. (2016) Locating Community among People with Schizophrenia living in a Diverse Urban Environment. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. 19 (2), 103-121. ISSN: 1548-7768.

Thomas, P & Morris, D (2016) Community-oriented collaboration for mental health care and mental health promotion [Editorial]. London Journal of Primary Care, 8 (1). pp. 1-2.

Thomas, Paul and Morris, David (2016) Integrating primary mental health care and mental health promotion. British Journal of General Practice (BJGP), 66 (643). pp. 60-61. ISSN 0960-1643

Webber, M., Reidy, H., Ansari, D., Stevens, M. & Morris, D. (2016) Developing and modelling complex social interventions: introducing the Connecting People Intervention. Research on Social Work Practice, 26 (1). 15-19. ISSN 1049-7315.

Newlin, M., Webber, M., Morris, D., & Howarth, S. (2015) Social Participation Interventions for Adults with Mental Health Problems: A Review and Narrative Synthesis. Social Work Research, 39 (3). pp. 167-180.

Thomas, P. & Morris, D. (2015) A network of activists for community-oriented integrated care - Editorial. London Journal of Primary Care, 7 (6). 107-108. ISSN 1757-1472. In CLOK

Webber, M., Reidy, H., Ansari, D., Stevens, M. & Morris, D. (2015) Enhancing social networks: a qualitative study of health and social care practice in UK mental health services. Health and Social Care in the Community, 23 (2).

Other Papers

Slavin, W. & Wilson, S. (2019) CHILD POVERTY: The Impact of Poor Housing on Children’s Life Chances. Project Report. (Unpublished)

Morris, D., Wylie, R. & Wilson, S. (2018) The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century. House of Lords, London.

Wilson, S. (2018) Child poverty: making a difference in your community. Cumbria Community Foundation.

Wilson, S. & Morris, D. (2017) Community Capital: The Value of Connected Communities. In British Psychological Society Community Psychology Festival 2017 Papers. Bristol.

Wilson, S., Morris, D. & Wylie, R. (2017) Response to House of Lords Select Committee for Citizenship and Engagement Call for Evidence (CCE0157). House of Lords Website.

Morris, D., & Gilchrist, A. (2011) Communities Connected: Inclusion, Participation and Common Purpose.  RSA Pamphlet.


UCLan’s ‘One Health’ Strategy enthusiastically received at national RCGP event in London

David Morris

A UCLan delegation representing the Vice-Chancellor’s office has recently attended a meeting of the Community Oriented Integrated Network (COIN) hosted by the Royal College of General practitioners in London.

Chaired by UCLan's Professor David Morris, the meeting focused on Professor Paul Thomas' compelling and thought-provoking presentation from his new book on collaborations for health. Professor Thomas' presentation, based on his extensive experience as a GP and activist in creating and facilitating transformational change in community primary care, set the scene for discussion of the kinds of changes needed in developing primary health care with, and for communities and the many sectors of community life that contribute to health and wellbeing.

As a national and international network of many hundreds of individuals, established under the auspices of the London Journal of Primary Care, COIN has been actively involved with Professor Thomas as the Journal's Editor in Chief in developing and publishing on this agenda. The meeting provided the opportunity for announcing UCLan's role as its new host. Janice Horrocks, UCLan's 'One Health' Consultant provided a summary of UCLan's holistic perspective on the elements that contribute to local population health and discussed how different departments within the University play a role in health and health education.

The importance of multi-disciplinary work in health care delivery and the education curriculum were highlighted, alongside the impact on health outcomes in practices where GPs and nurses are together involved in research. The 'One Health' vision entails recognising that prevention, education, tackling inequalities and empowering individuals and communities to generate solutions to improve health and wellbeing are key dimensions in understanding health needs and developing the future workforce.

At the meeting, the 'One Health' strategy was  warmly received and commended by Professor Mayur Lakhani, President of the RCGP as a unique and innovative approach to transforming lives and improving health outcomes. In his words, UCLan's strategy is 'very exciting and timely as it supports the NHSE agenda on Integrated Care Systems'.

Attendees committed their continued support for, and involvement in COIN as a means of contributing to the success of One Health and the University's developing primary care curriculum as well as the public health and primary health care agenda more generally.

by Grete Smith at 02/08/2018

CCC Seminars at UCLan

Date Presenter(s) Theme Title of Seminar
21st January 2018 Jennie Popay and David Morris Communities in Control and Connected Communities Shifting the ‘inward gaze’: Re-centering ‘power and control’ in health sector work with disadvantaged communities
13th February 2019 Pam Qualter (University of Manchester) Loneliness and young people Loneliness does not discriminate: Loneliness across the lifespan
27th March 2019 David Morris and John Hannen (Ambition for Ageing) Loneliness and older people Shaping our research ambitions for age friendly neighbourhoods: How community can best support innovative approaches to ageing.
24th April 2019 Prof Kate Pahl and Steve Pool Co-production of knowledge The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Co-production: Thinking Critically About Co-production
29th May 2019 Kathryn, Julie Ridley and Manjit Bola Community researchers Communities Connected: Exploring experiences of lay or community researchers and the potential for creating ‘community capital’
26th June 2019 Suzanne Wilson West Cumbria Intergenerational work Citizenship through Connected Communities: Challenging Intergenerational Loneliness through Youth Led Co-Production
24th July 2019 TBC TBC TBC


Professor David Morris, Director, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Dr Julie Ridley, Co-Director, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Jez Buffin, Business Planning & Development Lead, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Dr Manjit Bola, Community Research & Learning Development Lead, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Ismail Karolia, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Suzanne Wilson, School of Social Work, Care and Community, West Lakes

Emeritus Professor Chris Heghinbotham

Grete Smith, Faculty of Health & Wellbeing

UCLan Members

Dr Stephen Gethin Jones, School of Social Work, Care and Community

Shelley Briggs, School of Social Work, Care and Community


Steve Broome – Associate Co-Director
Steve’s expertise is in research, evaluation, and social innovation. His interests are community development, social networks, mental wellbeing, substance misuse, criminal justice, and local economic development. He set up the Connected Communities programme while at the RSA, testing social network and asset-based approaches to community development and public services.

Hári Sewell - Associate
Hári has a wide range of operational and strategic leadership experience in health and social care. He is a social worker by background with 20 years’ experience. Hári has held a number of senior roles within social care and the NHS, most recently Executive Director for Organisational Development in an inner-city Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Karen Linde - Associate
Karen has held senior appointments in academic and development contexts (mainly the NHS) with responsibility for the design of large scale change initiatives, improvement, evaluation and research activities. She is working at strategic levels with policy, workforce and engagement issues for the public sector and related evidence gathering, briefing and evaluative activity.

Carey Bamber – Associate
Carey has worked in health and social care settings for 25 years in a wide range of organisations and roles covering third sector, public services, arms length bodies, and more latterly she works as a freelance consultant. Carey started her career working in advice services, supporting people with mental health problems, and establishing a resettlement service for homeless people in Manchester.

Zoe Robinson – Associate
Zoe has worked as a forensic health care assistant at West London Mental Health Trust and managed mental health and ex-offender projects for Stonham Housing Association. Zoe was seconded to the Social Exclusion Unit to contribute to their mental health project, providing advice on front line issues and led on several policy areas.

Christa Drennan - Associate
Christa is an accredited psychotherapist with an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Christa has a wide range of academic, policy, commissioning and operational experience and knowledge. Christa leads on substance misuse and dual diagnosis services for a London NHS Trust, with responsibility for three tier 3 prescribing services for drug users and two prescribing services for alcohol addiction.

Joanna Hicks - Associate
Joanna has a background in social work, community engagement, marketing and public relations. She is an experienced manager in both private and public sectors, the latter including academic and practice roles. For the past 10 years she has focused on mental health and substance misuse issues.

Dr Fabian Davis - Associate
Fabian is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist working for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. He manages the psychological therapies service for people with complex mental health issues and is lead for social inclusion in the London Borough of Bromley. He has worked in the NHS for 35 years as a clinician, service co-developer and researcher.

Tina Coldham - Associate
Tina has been a mental health service user for many years, and is still a practicing depressive! She became a user activist through setting up self-help groups, and also being part of a local successful campaigning user group. This has led to wider regional, national and international strategic involvement with SCIE and INVOLVE. Her areas of expertise include user involvement, co-production, personalisation, survivor research, peer support.  Tina holds a PG Certificate in Strategic Social Care Leadership.

Catherine Wilton - Associate
Catherine is a former Department of Health (DH) Advisor on social capital and now runs Making the Connections consultancy. She set up the Building Community Capacity project for DH, now part of the Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Partnership, bringing together councils, think tanks, national provider and third sector organisations to share and develop approaches to building social capital.

Toby Williamson - Associate
Toby is an independent consultant working in the fields of adult and older people’s mental health, dementia, mental capacity, and safeguarding. For many years Toby has worked in and managed research, evaluation, practice and service development, and policy work. For the last 10 years he has particularly focused on dementia promoting the rights of people with dementia and their families through the DEEP initiative.

Kathryn James – Associate

To follow

Additional Information

Our Connected Communities approach invites research questions in multiple, related fields of inquiry. Our interests are broad and the research questions our work seeks to answer therefore potentially cover a wide range of social policy and public service issues which include:

  • How is the community capital represented in networks best developed and mobilised?
  • How do we understand what configurations of community capital are needed for individuals and communities, in what contexts and for what outcomes?
  • How do we evidence the impact of community engagement on health inequalities?
  • How do we understand the impact of engagement on civic participation and citizenship?
  • How can connected communities support democratisation and community wealth building?
  • Which approaches to engagement best serve the empowerment of communities?
  • How are the limits of community and individual responsibility to be defined?
  • How should we frame our view of the relationship between individual and community level interventions – what should we measure and how?
  • What are the economic benefits of investing in building social relationships and connecting communities?
  • In light of the impact of socio-economic and political factors on public service provision, how is the role of the public servant to be constructed? What are the implications for forms of co-design and co-production?
  • What are the implications of national shifts in views of ‘the other’ for diversity and mental health and how do we respond?
  • In relation to mental health, what criteria should determine how we focus and weight research between illness and wellbeing; service user experience and ‘universal’ notions of community health?

Projects and Research Programmes


‘Supports for Success’: Connected Communities input to young people in communities programme, Toronto (Ontario Government).

The Cares Family: Intergenerational intervention for loneliness in older people - Academic supervision (Cares Family).

Community perspectives on Social Prescribing - developing a practicable strategy for community level Social Prescribing, Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS)

‘Building Bridges’: Community Cohesion project Pendle; supporting evaluation, NW England (Big Lottery).

Peoples Health Trust ‘Local Conversations’ in 15 People’s Health Trust sites across UK developmental support for Local Conversation process, (Peoples Health Trust).

Empowering citizenship in young people - intergenerational citizenship in West Cumbria (Samuel Lindow Foundation).

Policing in Cumbria: Connected Communities as an approach to support multi-agency hub-based policing (in development; Samuel Lindow Foundation/Cumbria Police).


Community Connectors - developing a mental health community connectors programme with Solent MIND, in two sites in Hampshire, (Hants County Council).

ODESSA: 3-year international study on ageing in place with Sheffield University, Tsinghua University, China and Université Dauphine, France, (Economic and Social Research Council).

Developing community capacity through a Connected Communities approach in Preston City, (Preston City Council).


‘Connected Street Associations’ (Street Associations) developing evidence base for Street Associations in Kingstanding, Birmingham, (NHS Better Care Fund; Clinical Commissioning Group).

Housing and Community in Foleshill, Coventry with Orbit Housing to enable housing–led community engagement, (Orbit Housing).


Connecting People research with York University: implementing team-based social work training intervention for improved service user community inclusion outcomes, (School for Social Care Research, National Institute for Health Research).

Evaluation of impacts of national Mental Health and Adult Learning pilot programme in partnership with Ipsos MORI (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).


Personalisation; assessment of integrated approach to Personal Budget uptake (MIND).

Connected Communities based care pathway for people with Long Term Conditions; feasibility project (North Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group).


Prevention and Community Resilience - evaluating older people’s community-funded services in Kirklees, (Kirklees Council).