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Common Health Assets is an ambitious research project focused on how, for whom and in what contexts community-led organisations can build and mobilise their ‘assets’ to impact on health and wellbeing of those living in deprived areas. The project is funded by the  National institute for Health Research (NIHR).

We are a partner in this research being led by the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University. The project brings together community and academic partners from across the UK.

The aim of the research is to find out how community organisations’ use of asset-based approaches improve health and wellbeing, and how this might be different in different contexts. Asset-based approaches are about ‘doing with’ (rather than ‘doing to’) and working with communities to build on their strengths and to mobilise the knowledge and skills of local people. The project will work with and study community-led organisations, working in areas with high levels of poverty, poor physical and social environments and where individuals have poor health outcomes.

Some studies have shown that community-focused approaches can have a positive effect on health and wellbeing (see below). However, this evidence base is limited at present and we know little about the impact of mobilising people as ‘health assets’, which approaches lead to which outcomes, and how different contexts might affect success. This research will produce new knowledge to address the gap in evidence.

This 3-year, multi-site, multi-method project will work with 15 (or more) CLOs based in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. A range of creative, innovative, and participatory research methods will be used to explore the research questions. Each method will tell us something different about the CLOs and how they work, their communities, their funding and how users feel before and after taking part.

Lived Experience PanelIllustration of a five-person group of community members with the text: The lived experience panel will bring ongoing community expertise, voice and perspective to the research project.

To ensure that the research project is informed by ongoing community expertise, voice, and perspective a Lived Experience Panel will be established. This Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) aspect of the project will be led by the GCPH.

Composed of participants from the CLOs the project is working with, members of the Panel will meet at key stages of the project and have roles in shaping the research and study design, participating in activity relevant to the project phases and methods, and informing the interpretation of findings to ensure they are relevant and meaningful to community organisations.

Panel members will also have opportunities to develop their knowledge of community-based research, develop skills through a range of training opportunities and build relationships with the others involved in the research from across the UK.

Find out more

For further information please email Jennifer McLean.

Detailed information on the research project, methods, resources, partners and team members can be found on the Common Health Assets website.

Related blogs

Common Health Assets: Evaluating the impact of community assets for health and wellbeing

Common Health Assets: the Lived Experience Panel

Previous research into how community-focused approaches can have a positive effect on health and wellbeing

Assets in Action: Illustrating asset based approaches for health improvement

Positive Conversations, Meaningful Change: Learning from Animating Assets

Community Development in Health: A Literature Review

Tailor Made: How Community Groups Improve People’s Lives