It was fantastic to welcome so many people to the Researcher Hub at the University of Huddersfield on Thursday 25th September for what I hope was the first of many regional events for Yorkshire & the Humber.

As well as providing an opportunity for people to meet others working in research and intelligence across our region, we had three great sessions – including some of the ‘best bits’ from the LARIA conference earlier this year.

First up was Tracey Robbins from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation with a lively and inspiring session about taking a neighbourhood approach to loneliness. We heard about their action research programme (based in York and Bradford) and the findings of the evaluation (by Qa Research) before working together to talk about what we can all do, both professionally and personally, to help tackle loneliness. (Presentation available on request).

Gillian Barley talked to us about their work in the East Riding of Yorkshire exploring the role of leisure centres in contributing to health and wellbeing outcomes. Lots of learning shared here and it was good to hear how research has really played a role in understanding customer experiences to help stimulate behaviour change:

We also heard from Lisa Lennon and Peter Roderick from Leeds City Council about re-assessing the focus of their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and developing a new approach to understanding both needs and assets, before breaking into small groups to discuss ideas, challenges and what works:

Feedback from the afternoon was that people found it useful and we’ve already had a couple of offers from colleagues to host the next event – so watch this space for details!