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Culture, sport and wellbeing: social diversity and context matters

The Culture, Sport and Wellbeing (CSaW) evidence programme is one of four commissioned in 2015 to support the UK’s independent national What Works Centre for Wellbeing. CSaW is examining the evidence about how UK strategies can most effectively promote the wellbeing benefits of engagement in culture and sport, and tackle wellbeing inequalities through cultural and sport interventions.

The Culture, Sport and Wellbeing (CSaW) evidence programme is one of four commissioned in 2015 to support the UK’s independent national What Works Centre for Wellbeing. CSaW is examining the evidence about how UK strategies can most effectively promote the wellbeing benefits of engagement in culture and sport, and tackle wellbeing inequalities through cultural and sport interventions. The CSaW project involves systematic review and secondary analysis methods to synthesize evidence on the contributions of cultural and sport interventions to subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction, experiences of happiness and worry, and worthwhile things in life) in diverse population groups. It is identifying, assessing and synthesizing evidence on the contributions of cultural and sport interventions to wellbeing in diverse population groups, and translating sharing and promoting that evidence to inform policy and decision making by stakeholders. Researchers, policy makers, commissioners, service deliverers, and the public collaborate to define review questions, and translate, share and promote evidence to maximise the potential of culture and sport to enhance SWB.

The programme brings together Brunel University London, the London School of Economics, the University of Brighton and the University of Winchester in an interdisciplinary consortium with complementary areas of academic excellence. Continued engagement with users underpins our work plan which is rooted in a robust partnership with 55 UK-wide organisations representing policy, commissioning/managing, service delivery, and scholars/fellows stakeholders. Our own public / citizen group work has complemented this and has involved approximately 180 people who participate in, or actively support people in, community-based culture and sport activities (including singing, arts, dance, tennis, rugby, athletics) and reflected the key dimensions of diversity in community contexts (socio-economic status, age, gender, disability and ethnicity). We continue to develop and extend, as appropriate, this collaborative partnership approach with existing networks in culture and sport to ensure we are reaching and speaking to the most significant audiences, at the most relevant times, in the most appropriate places, and that we are employing the most effective strategies and activities for identifying, collating, synthesising, translating and disseminating evidence.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

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

Related Research Group(s)

Health and Wellbeing Across the Lifecourse

Health and Wellbeing Across the Lifecourse - Inequalities in health and wellbeing in the UK and internationally; welfare, health and wellbeing; ageing studies; health economics.


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 29/06/2021