In 2019, Staffordshire University worked in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent’s Hardship Commission to deliver Get Talking Hardship, a participatory action research project which recruited and trained a team of community researchers to help understand the experiences of people living with hardship and poverty in the city. The project attracted a large number of community researchers and participants, and impacted on the way in which the Hardship Commission works with and conducts research with people experiencing hardship.
Despite its success, Get Talking Hardship raised a number of questions for the research team, such as can we support community researcher teams beyond the life of a short term funded project? What are the ethical issues in asking community researchers conduct research into issues such as hardship? And how can universities and community organisations work more effectively together to support local, place based research and community researcher teams?
In December 2019, Staffordshire University, in partnership with Expert Citizens and the Hardship Commission, and supported by UKRI‘s Enhancing Place-based Partnerships for Public Engagement (EPPE) fund, started a project with some of the Get Talking community researchers to delve into some of these questions. These pages share the story of our project, including our learning, some of the challenges we experienced during the COVID-19 outbreak, and some of the creative outputs from our community researcher team.
A Keep Talking: Impact and Recommendations Report is available here: Gratton 2020 Keep Talking Impact and Recommendations Report