I am currently working in the NIHR Older People and Frailty Policy Research Unit (PRU), led by Professor Chris Todd. The PRU is run in partnership with Newcastle University and the London School of Economics. As Research Fellow, I am involved in the development of the work programme; evidence reviews; stakeholder, patient and public engagement; and the supervision of research staff and PhD students.
In addition, I am a co-applicant on the Greater Sport Active Ageing programme evaluation. The programme is working to increase physical activity engagement amongst older adults in eight of the boroughs in Greater Manchester.
I currently supervise two PhD students and two Masters students. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
On a voluntary basis, I am Chair of the Board of Trustees at Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees and also a member of the Patient Participation Group at my local GP practice. Since April 2017, I have been a member of Age UK's national Policy Panel, advising on campaigns and policy positions.
Prior to commencing my PhD in Manchester in 2010, I had worked in Health & Social Care for 15 years. I have worked as a commissioner for older people and physical disability services in local government and have 24 years experience of working in the voluntary sector. I also worked as an off-site Practice Educator for Social Work students on placement from Huddersfield University for 8 years. I still provide support and supervision to a voluntary sector organisation supporting unpaid carers in Calderdale, on a freelance basis. As Chair of the Board of Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees, I supervise the Chief Executuve and hold joint responsibility for the strategic direction of the charity.
From 2016-19 I worked on the EC funded PreventIT project, developing motivational strategies to encourage people aged 60-70 to engage in activities that prevent functional decline. We ran a feasibility RCT in three European countries, testing the feasibility of both instructor-led and app-based interventions.
In 2018 I worked on a project funded by the Centre for Ageing Better to review the provision of strength and balance programmes across England. This exciting project enabled us to implement research into practice in the field of falls prevention.
I have worked on two EC funded projects focussing on promoting active ageing and the opportunities afforded by smartphone and smarthome technologies. I have also worked on two MRC funded projects, carrying out qualitative work to ascertain the acceptability and feasibility of technology use in fall prevention interventions.
I have two teenagers, who keep me well grounded! We like to take as many holidays as time allows. I run (when I'm not injured!) sing in a local choir and walk the dog, to get my regular fix of endorphines. I've recently started to go to the gym to work on my strength, so that I am practising what my work preaches!
PhD (University of Manchester 2015)
MA Historical Research (Lancaster University 1994)
BA (Hons) History and Religious Studies (S. Martin's College, Lancaster 1993)
Policy Panel Member, Age UK1 Apr 2017
Co-Chair, Colne Valley Group Practice12 Aug 2011
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees1 Jan 2010