ARK Ageing Programme and AgeNI conference, 27th August 2014, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Title: At the crossroads: preparing for an ageing population 
Date: Wednesday 27 August 2014
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm
Description: Jointly organised by AgeNI and ARK Ageing Programme, this conference will bring together leading experts on ageing and will explore how policy makers and service providers in Northern Ireland can best prepare for demographic change. Academics and practitioners will present their analyses and recommendations on key issues including dementia, housing, employment, building an age-friendly Northern Ireland, effective consultation processes, and engaging with ‘hard to reach’ groups. This conference is free of charge.
Speakers include: Professor Robin Means, University of the West of England; Professor Marian Barnes, University of Brighton; Professor Vanessa Burholt, Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University; Dr David Lain, University of Brighton; Susan Russam, Chief Executive GEMS Northern Ireland Limited; Dr Malcolm Fisk, Age Research Centre, Coventry University; Dr Katherine Brookfield, OPENspace Research Centre, University of Edinburgh; Paul McGarry, Valuing Older People Team, Manchester City Council 
Venue: Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 5EE
Booking information: This conference is free of charge. To register your interest and receive a full programme of the day, please contact Michele Young; Email:, Telephone: 0044 (0) 2890 892606  (see

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Veterinarians meet Sociology in Sheffield, Saturday 17th May 2014

On May 17th, Sally Shortall was an invited speaker at the Veterinary Public Health Association’s (VPHA) annual conference in Sheffield. The Association was formed in 1960 to represent veterinarians and allied professionals, such as environmental health officers, in the field of veterinary public health. It covers all aspects of animal disease, food production and other enterprises that have any interaction with the human population. It is through the lobbying role of the Association that it is able to influence Government policy, and the formation of new or updated advice and guidance focused on greater consumer protection. The VPHA is committed to the protection of the consumer and the environment, and to the promotion of animal welfare.

Sally Shortall was asked to speak about how to influence government policy, and how to engage with various knowledge provider groups such as practitioners, industry, stakeholders, and policy makers to ensure effective policy and good public health policy. She used examples from her work with the Food Standards Agency and the European Parliament. After the event Sally remarked that ‘veterinarians are very aware of the social science aspects of their work, and the need to engage social science to effectively achieve public health’. 

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Dr Andrew Percy invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence

Dr Andrew Percy, Senior lecturer in Criminology has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence. The Journal is a leading international, broadly based, cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal addressing issues of professional and academic importance to people interested in adolescent development. The aim of the journal is to encourage research and foster good practice through publishing both empirical and clinical studies as well as integrative reviews and theoretical advances (for more information please visit:


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Ruari McBride awarded Santander Scholarship

Doctoral student Ruari McBride has been awarded a Santander Mobility Scholarhip (2013/14).  This will support his visit to Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil, later this year. He will collobarate with Dr. Maria de Lourdes de Souza and Dr. Walter Ferreira of the UFSC Public Health Department on a research project relating to chemical dependency. He will present his own research findings and hold a workshop regarding mental health issues in prison.

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Legal Options for Implementing Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland

Dr Bronagh Byrne and Prof Laura Lundy (School of Education) were invited speakers at the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People’s (NICCY) Annual Conference. They presented their findings from a collaborative ESRC Knowledge Exchange project with NICCY. The project sought to enhance the implementation of children’s rights in Northern Ireland, and was intended to inform the development of children’s rights legislation here through stakeholder engagement and critical analysis of the existing evidence base and literature around the implementation of the CRC in domestic law. The project culminated in a paper which sets out the legal options for implementing children’s rights in Northern Ireland.

For more information see Children’s Rights in Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future 

A copy of the ‘options’ paper by Bronagh and Laura can be downloaded here:

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Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in PLOS ONE

Dr Anne Kouvonen has had an article published in PLOS ONE (impact factor 3.730) ( This large record-linkage study showed that obesity increases the risk of occupational injuries in all socioeconomic groups.

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Mental health of Polish migrants highlighted

Tuesday's Irish Times (15th October 2013) featured research carried out by Dr Anne Kouvonen, Dr Michael Donnelly and Dr Justyna Bell (UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health). The Irish Times article draws on the results of the QUB research discussing mental health challenges faced by Polish migrants in Northern Ireland. It also mentions the close collaboration of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work and the CoE with the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) in establishing the scope of research in the field of migrant mental health. 

Justyna Bell has been studying Polish migrants since she was an undergraduate, and has continued her research at Queen’s. She says mental health is a persistent issue.

“There is a notion of shame of going back to Poland when you’re a failed migrant, because you want to get this great job and then you become unemployed,” she says. “They prefer to stay here and suffer than to go back and show they failed.”

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