Congratulations to Professor Gary Thomas and Dr Mark Griffiths who have both recently been awarded funding from the AHRC which is leading the development of a new cross-Research Council research programme on Connected Communities in partnership with the EPSRC, ESRC, MRC and NERC. The aim of the Programme is examine the increasingly inter-connected communities to enhance self-reliance, regeneration, sustainability and health & well-being.
Dr Mark Griffiths, together with Professor Kathleen Armour will conduct a review of UK and international research literature on the role of volunteer community coaches. Community based sport is an extensive social enterprise that is run, almost in its entirety, by volunteer sports coaches. In the UK, it has been estimated that over 8 million people engage in sports activities in their communities each week, under the guidance of 1.1 million active sports coaches. Sport and sports coaching are, by any measure, major community engagement activities.
Professor Gary Thomas, together with Professor Ian Grosvenor will be looking at communities locally, nationally and internationally to collate research about the ways in which communities work and how they include or exclude others. They shall be looking at - for example - how far alienation from a majority community may find its origins less in views borne of religion or ethnicity and more in simply-forged identity among members of particular kinds of minority community.