Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
B15 2TT

Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite is a Birmingham Fellow in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology. Her research interests focus on poverty and inequality, charitable food provision, and austerity, with a particular focus on stigma.


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (Distinction), Higher Education Futures Institute, University of Birmingham (2020)
  • PhD Human Geography, Durham University (2012)
  • MA Social Research Methods (Social Policy), Durham University (2009)
  • BA Sociology, Durham University (2007)


Kayleigh currently convenes the following modules:

  • Poverty, Wealth and Inequality (MA)

Postgraduate supervision

  • Helen Nethaway, Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham
  • Kate Haddow, School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, Teesside University

Other activities

  • Trustee of Independent Food Aid Network
  • Member of Social Policy Association
  • Member of Oxfam UK Poverty Policy Advisory Group
  • Member of Trussell Trust ‘State of Hunger’ Advisory Board
  • Member of Welfare at a (Social) Distance Advisory Board (PI Lisa Scullion)
  • Member of Food Vulnerability during COVID-19 (PI Hannah Lambie-Mumford)


Recent publications


Garthwaite, K 2016, Hunger Pains: Life inside foodbank Britain. Bristol, Policy Press.


Garthwaite, K & Bambra, C 2018, '‘It's like being in Tattooville’: An ethnographic study of territorial stigma and health in a post-industrial town in the North East of England', Health & Place, vol. 54, pp. 229-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.10.005

Geiger, BB, Garthwaite, K, Warren, J & Bambra, C 2017, 'Assessing work disability for social security benefits: international models for the direct assessment of work capacity', Disability and Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2017.1366556

Garthwaite, K 2017, '‘I feel I'm giving something back to society’: constructing the ‘active citizen’ and responsibilising foodbank use', Social Policy and Society, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 283-292. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1474746416000543

Garthwaite, K & Bambra, C 2017, '“How the other half live”: Lay perspectives on health inequalities in an age of austerity', Social Science & Medicine, vol. 187, pp. 268-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.021

Garthwaite, K, Smith, K, Bambra, C & Pearce, J 2016, 'Desperately seeking reductions in health inequalities: perspectives of UK researchers on past, present and future directions in health inequalities research', Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 459-478. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12374

Garthwaite, K 2016, 'Stigma, shame and 'people like us': an ethnographic study of foodbank use in the UK', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 277-289. https://doi.org/10.1332/175982716X14721954314922

Garthwaite, K 2015, 'Becoming incapacitated? Long-term sickness benefit recipients and the construction of stigma and identity narratives', Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.12168

Garthwaite, K, Collins, P & Bambra, C 2015, 'Food for thought: An ethnographic study of negotiating ill health and food insecurity in a UK foodbank', Social Science and Medicine, vol. 132, pp. 38-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.019

Garthwaite, K 2015, '‘Keeping meself to meself’ - how social networks can influence narratives of stigma and identity for long-term sickness benefits recipients', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 199–212. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12119

Warren, J, Garthwaite, K & Bambra, C 2014, 'After Atos Healthcare: is the Employment and Support Allowance fit for purpose and does the Work Capability Assessment have a future?', Disability & Society, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 1319-1323 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2014.948746

Garthwaite, K 2014, 'Fear of the Brown Envelope: Exploring Welfare Reform with Long-Term Sickness Benefits Recipients', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 48, no. 7, pp. 782–798. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12049

Review article

Cairns, J, Warren, J, Garthwaite, K, Greig, G & Bambra, C 2015, 'Go slow: an umbrella review of the effects of 20 mph zones and limits on health and health inequalities', Journal of Public Health, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 515-520. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdu067

Warren, J, Garthwaite, K & Bambra, C 2015, 'Help for heroes? Evaluating a case management programme for ex-service personnel in the United Kingdom', Perspectives in Public Health, vol. 135, no. 1, pp. 37-42. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757913914555747

Footman, K, Garthwaite, K, Bambra, C & McKee, M 2014, 'Quality check: does it matter for quality how you organize and pay for health care? A review of the international evidence', International Journal of Health Services, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 479-505. https://doi.org/10.2190/HS.44.3.d

View all publications in research portal


Kayleigh’s research interests focus on poverty and inequality, charitable food provision, foodbanks and austerity, with a particular focus on stigma.

Policy experience

Kayleigh has contributed written and oral evidence to a range of different government bodies, including a Select Committee into Benefit Sanctions, Select Committee on Benefit Delivery, and the APPG on Health in All Policies.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities