Warm welcome to ICC Research Fellow Gayle Whelan

Added on Monday, March 10th, 2014


We’re delighted to welcome Gayle Whelan to the ICC (March 2014), who joins us from the Applied Health and Wellbeing Partnership at the Centre for Public Health (CPH), Liverpool John Moores University. Gayle is now leading ‘phase 2’ of our Joining the Dots research programme in collaboration with Mersey Care NHS Trust. The two-year project will examine the economic value of creative interventions in mental health care, building upon recommendations made in a comprehensive review of economic valuation research in arts and cultural sectors completed in 2013 (‘phase 1’).

The research programme was initiated in 2012 by ICC Chairman Professor Phil Redmond in consultation with the executive team at Mersey Care NHS Trust, and has been developed by Head of Research Kerry Wilson. It is inspired by the pressing objective – for both cultural and mental health care sectors – to consider the more holistic value of creative partnerships and interventions from strategic and operational perspectives, including the relative added value of collaborative working. During ‘phase 2’, cost benefit analysis approaches will be used to consider the longer-term resourcefulness of cross-sector cultural activity in the Liverpool city region within a Holistic Management analysis framework. This will include the application of  a ‘systems thinking’ approach to resource management, designed to explore whether decision-making becomes more economically, socially and environmentally effective when based on a shared ‘holistic goal’ between different organisations and services.  

During her time with the CPH, Gayle led a two-year project mapping community assets on the Wirral, using social value methodology to understand the impacts of assets on mental health and wellbeing. As a social impact analyst, Gayle has used Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology in a number of projects, and has been active in public health research for seven years, evaluating organisations and projects delivering both cultural and health benefits to the wider community. Through this work she has developed expertise in community-based participatory research involving vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, and has collaborated with a range of partners including Merseyside Police, local authorities and NHS commissioners. Gayle’s research interests centre on mental health and wellbeing, grassroots initiatives and impact upon wider communities.  


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