Sharing all the latest news and views from across the ActEarly teams
AntennAE heading
Issue 5 – May 2022
Improving our two-way communications
HELLO AND WELCOME to the latest edition of AntennAE, our regular monthly e-bulletin to keep everyone involved with ActEarly up-to-date with all our latest news. We have fellow researchers, exploring the complexities of ant communication, to thank for its title. It was they who discovered that ants not only pick up information through their antennae but also use them to convey social signals. It was the first time antennae have been found to be a two-way communication device, rather than just a receptor. So we very much hope that as well reading our news, you will share your updates too – and contribute to our future success. 
Please email with your news, stories, events and notices by the last Friday of the month at 12 noon.

Upcoming opportunities and news

Diary dates

Methods club, 8th June at 2pm with Dr Peter Martin, UCL:
Should we abolish statistical significance? 
Sign up here

Research vacancies at ActEarly:

1) Natural Experiment Senior Research Fellow, Bradford, closing date: 17th May
2) Research Assistant (qualitative researcher), London, closing date: 5th May
3) Research Associate (Evaluation), University of York, closing date: 5th May

Meet the team

SAY hello to Rob ShoreRob's role is funded by the NIHR and he is embedded into the local authority in Bradford to develop data sharing of council datasets to Connected Bradford as well as promoting research collaboration. It is also his responsibility to manipulate and transform raw datasets into Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership standards on the Connected Bradford platform ready for academics and researchers to use. Recent examples include routine local authority data for adult and children’s social care. He is also supporting Bradford Council’s HDRC funding application. If successful this bid will help establish Bradford Council as a local authority leader in generating and using health determinants research to support decision making and democratic accountability.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Healthier, Wealthier Families

Improving health and wellbeing by increasing the income of parents of young children is at the heart of the Healthy Livelihoods strand of ActEarly. Both Bradford and Tower Hamlets councils want to drive up wellbeing and life chances of families and children. Early advice about money and other welfare benefit support has been shown in other populations, for example, Scotland, where it is embedded in policy, to improve family income. Healthy Livelihoods team members are developing an adaptation of this 'Healthier Wealthier Families' programme, where money and other advice is universally available through being integrated into routine health care services in the two boroughs' hospital and community services​. Building on Sian Reece's doctoral work, ​the team has ​applied to East London Foundation Trust Charity for funding for a feasibility study, and established collaborations with Dr Michelle Heys (UCL Institute of Child Health) and London Borough of Newham, and international partners in Sweden and Australia. The newest member of the Healthy Livelihoods strand is Dr Rebecca Benson, who joins ActEarly as a Senior Research Fellow to prepare a funding bid for the 'Healthier Wealthier Families' intervention and its evaluation. 

Halima Iqbal

Research on Research: Wave 2 qualitative study

ActEarly’s mixed method evaluation aims to generate understanding of consortium formation, collaboration, sustainability and transdisciplinarity across ActEarly, over time. As part of this evaluation, Bradford Research Fellow Halima Iqbal undertook qualitative data collection for Wave Two of the Research on Research study. She conducted interviews with 20 consortia members across various disciplines and roles between November 2021 - February 2022. Consortia members from Bradford and Tower Hamlets shared their experiences and perspectives of working within ActEarly. A range of benefits were identified such as the sharing of good practice and transdisciplinary working within the consortia. Some challenges were also highlighted, including the impact of the pandemic on building partnerships, adapting to different ways of working between researchers and local authority partners, and gaps in knowledge about current ActEarly activities. These results will contribute to our ongoing meta-evaluation of ActEarly and be used to make improvements. We would like to thank our interviewees for taking part. For more information, please contact Dr Bridget Lockyer 

Tower Hamlets urban development

Developing Health

The ActEarly Healthy Places team has been helping Tower Hamlets evaluate their Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Policy for new large urban developments using qualitative research with key stakeholders. The aim of the policy is to ensure that developers create buildings and outdoor spaces that maximise positive health impacts and minimise negative impacts. The policy is delivered in a unique partnership between public health and the urban planning teams within the council. The evaluation has helped show the council what is working well and what needs further support. Key findings were issues around how the developer engages with the community and how to evaluate whether the HIA policy makes a difference to the health of residents when the final development is built. The evaluation has helped Tower Hamlets reflect on the need to continue to support a post focused on spatial planning and health. 

Have we got research news for you!

Here is a small snapshot of recent outputs related to ActEarly

Developing an obesity research agenda with British Pakistani women living in deprived areas with involvement from multisectoral stakeholders: Research priority setting with a seldom heard group
Read More
Shaping Pathways to Child Health: A Systematic Review of Street-Scale Interventions in City Streets
Read More

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ActEarly are working with local communities, local authorities and other national organisations to understand how we can help families live healthier and more active lives.

This work was supported by the UK Prevention Research Partnership, an initiative funded by UK Research and Innovation Councils, the Department of Health and Social Care (England) and the UK devolved administrations, and leading health research charities. Read more
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