Dr Sophie Yarker

Research Associate

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I am the Research Fellow working on the Ambition for Ageing Programme led by GMCVO. This is a Big Lottery funded programme aimed at creating more age-friendly communities across Greater Manchester.

My academic background is in both Sociology (BA Hons) and Human Geography. I was awarded a PhD in Human Geography from Newcastle University in 2014. This was an ESRC-funded study of the nature and extent of local belonging and attachment to place in the context of urban regeneration. The themes of belonging, community and urban regeneration are themes I have continued to explore in throughout my subsequent research positions. After working as a Teaching Fellow in Geography at Newcastle University I moved to Aberystwyth University in 2016 and worked across two ESRC-funded projects investigating the changing nature of civil society in local communities. 

In 2018 I took up the position of Research Fellow on the Ambition for Ageing at MICRA.  As Research Fellow my role is to bring academic research on social isolation/co-research into the programme through seminars, summaries of literature and reports and to carry out specific pieces of research on themes emerging from the programme. 



My research interest are around how we can build more inclusive urban neighbourhoods particularly in the context of urban regeneration and population change. Specifically I am interested in how we conceptualise and understand feelings of belonging and attachment to the places in which we live and how these understandings can better inform processes of urban regeneration. These interest are focused around three main themes;

-       Conceptualising the local and feelings of belonging and attachment to local communities

-       Progressive and inclusive forms of community development 

-       Social innovation within the community and voluntary sector 


Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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