New Birmingham Fellow wins prestigious award

Newly appointed Birmingham Fellow in Social Policy, Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, has been awarded the Peter Townsend Prize from the British Academy for her book, ‘Hunger Pains: life inside foodbank Britain’ which examines the lives of people using a Trussell Trust foodbank in Stockton-on-Tees, North East England.

Dr Garthwaite is one of only a handful of people, including founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales and radio presenter Claudia Hammond to receive one of the British Academy’s prestigious awards this year.

The British Academy Awards recognises academics, broadcasters, writers and entrepreneurs for their distinction in – and dedication to – the subjects that make up the arts, humanities and social sciences. The Peter Townsend Prize is awarded biennially in partnership with Bristol University Press for outstanding work with policy relevance on a topic to which Townsend made a major contribution. It is awarded in commemoration of Professor Peter Townsend, one of the most distinguished global figures in contemporary social policy and sociology. This prize was established to honour his memory following his death in 2009. The prize was first awarded in 2011. Dr Garthwaite won the Peter Townsend prize in 2013 with colleagues Professor Tracy Shildrick, Professor Robert MacDonald, Professor Colin Webster for ‘Poverty and insecurity: life in low-pay, no-pay Britain’.

Samantha Stapley, Head of Operations for The Trussell Trust commented: 

'Hunger Pains' is one of the first deep-dive studies into the reality of hunger which foodbanks see every day, focusing on a centre in a Trussell Trust foodbank. Dr Garthwaite has captured the stark experience of people in poverty, as well and the lifeline foodbanks provide. Last year our Foodbank Network gave out nearly 1.2 million three-day emergency food supplies, and that number is growing. Research into why this is, and how we can stop it, is essential to stop UK hunger together.' 

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