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Change Makers - Brunel Youth Action Group

Research on how best to serve the needs of a particular community is often criticised for not involving the community impacted, both in defining the problems faced and designing the solutions. At Brunel, we work directly with young people in making changes that help them live better lives.

The Youth Action Group is being set up by researchers at Brunel University to identify barriers faced by young people locally and help us design solutions. The first phase of this project is interviews conducted with young people in the local area to find out what challenges they face and how they could be best supported. We will also be collecting data using online surveys.

Once we have reviewed all the responses to the interviews and surveys, we will put together an action group of young people. They will work with us in developing a plan of action to directly impact the areas that are highlighted as important by these interviews.

The Youth Action Group of change makers will directly impact our research and will help provide solutions to improving the lives of young people.

Our research is aimed at young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who live in the Uxbridge area. Our research model and findings can be scaled up and applied further afield.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Meredith Jones - Meredith Jones is Director of the pan-university Institute for Communities and Society.  Her latest book, Beautyscapes: Mapping Cosmetic Surgery Tourism (written with Ruth Holliday and David Bell) won the 2020 Foundation for Sociology of Health and Illness Prize. The book is based on extensive fieldwork carried out in Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Tunisia, Spain, and Czech Republic. It also comprises digital research into cosmetic surgery websites and cosmetic surgery communities on social media. She is active in the creative industries and founded the Trunk series of books with artist and designer Suzanne Boccalatte, which includes curated collections of artworks and essays about Hair and Blood. Meredith is a transdisciplinary scholar who works at the intersections of feminist theories of the body, media and communications, gender studies, and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in popular culture, visuality, and embodiment, and has published widely in these areas. Her chapter 'Media-Bodies and Photoshop' is a good example of how she links them. She often speaks publicly about social media, popular culture and feminism, and is an expert on the socio-cultural aspects of the Kardashians. She hosted a scholarly Kimposium! in 2015 and Kimposium! The Sequel will be held in September 2021. Her first book, Skintight: An Anatomy of Cosmetic Surgery, is a widely-cited foundational text in studies of makeover culture, cosmetic surgery and feminist theories of the body. Her other books include a major collection of feminist writing about cosmetic surgery that she co-edited with philosopher Cressida Heyes, Cosmetic Surgery: A Feminist Primer.  Qualifications PhD in Cultural Studies, University of Western Sydney, 2006 BA Hons. in Women's Studies, 1st Class, University of Sydney, 1998
Professor Christina Victor - Christina joined Brunel in October 2009. She is  Professor of Gerontology and Public Health and Vice Dean (Research) in the  College of Health and Life Sciences as well as the Ageing Studues Theme Leader in the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies. Christina started her academic career as a geographer with a particular interest in the spatial distribution of health and illness and access to, and provision of, health and social care. She has a BA in Geography from Swansea University and an M Phil in medical geography from Nottingham.  It was whilst working at the Medical School in Cardiff that she developed  her interests in gerontology and her PhD investigated outcome after discharge for older people in Wales and she now focuses her interests in public health/population medicine on to the experiences of old age and later life. Christina’s initial research interests were focussed upon  health and health inequalities and the evaluation of services for older people.   More recently she developed a keen interest in loneliness and isolation; the benefits of exercise and activity in later life and the experiences of old age and later life amongst minority communities and the experience of ageing for people with intellectual disabilities. She has received funding for her research from a range of funders including ESRC, NIHR, Dunhill Medical Trust, Leverhulme and the British Academy. Christina has written over  200 journal articles and book chapters and has published 8 books in the field of gerontology. Her most recent book, Ageing, Health and Care, was launched by Policy Press at the British Society of Gerontology conference held at Brunel in July 2010. She is Editor of Ageing and Society, the leading social gerontology journal in Europe. She is a member of a range grant awarding bodies including NIHR and ESRC. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.  In 2017 Christina was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award of the British Society of Gerontology and awarded Fellowship of the Gerontological Society of America. Qualifications: PhD, M Phil, BA

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.


Project last modified 28/03/2022