A Coventry University Partnership: A Vulnerable Population

slice of happiness
Jeanne Catherine
Nici Butchart

Jeanne Catherine & Nici Butchart

February 20, 2023

Jeanne is the co-founder, COO, and lead scientist of Innate Health ResearchNici is Managing Director of Innate Health Research as well as a researcher, practitioner, and wellbeing specialist.

Caroline Powell found herself homeless at 16. This was followed by years of substance use disorders and mental health problems resulting from her early physical and mental abuse. But a chance encounter with the concept of innate health would change her life. Today, she is the Founder of A Slice of Happiness, which offers innate health programs to vulnerable and home-insecure adults in Hertfordshire, UK. As a relatively young program, Caroline did not yet have the evidence to prove the positive outcomes of her intervention and approached Innate Health Research to explore how to evaluate the program and determine its impact. A process that can demonstrate positive outcomes to interested decision-makers.

Project Team

Dr. Geraldine Brown, an Assistant Professor at Coventry University's Centre for Agroecology, Water, and Resilience, came on board as Principal Investigator bringing a critical focus on engaging marginalized communities in research to ensure the inclusion of their views and/ or experiences in practice and policy decision-making at all levels. She has a disciplinary background in Sociology and Social Policy, acts as the Principle Investigator, interfaces with her University ethics board, and provides insight and direction. Caroline Powell brings her unique perspective, lived experience, and an intimate understanding of her participants. That participatory lens has enabled us to design research and understand nuances in the data. Innate Health Research brings expertise in designing research that measures the outcomes that arise from innate health programming and translating outcomes to diverse audiences.

Our Process

Motivated by the same vision of improving the state of mind and quality of life for vulnerable populations, we collaboratively designed a mixed-method, peer-review project with the needs of home-insecure individuals in mind. A Slice of Happiness recruits program participants, while Coventry University provides Geraldine’s research expertise, and handles the pre and post-program data storage, and research oversight. Innate Health Research plays a critical role in survey design, data collection, and analysis, ensuring that the study effectively measures the impact on key measurements of relevant constructs, such as well-being and mental health.

Our Impact

While this project continues to track outcomes over time, we are already seeing some important impacts. Caroline has shared early impact data - the inaugural report which has galvanized support for the program, leveraging it as a critical tool to secure additional funding and begin influencing policy. As the data grows, each partner plays a different role in sharing the results with key stakeholders, including the research study participants themselves, ‌giving voice to marginalized populations, and potentially influencing mental health policies and approaches.

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