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Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP)

     | Institute of Governance



Changing Ageing Partnership (Cap) funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies seeks to develop a robust evidence base to inform policy development with respect to older people. Research is being developed across a range of areas including: law; economics; politics; sociology; environmental planning, consequently a diverse range of methods will be used.

Partner organizations in the Changing Ageing Partnership (Cap) are Help the Aged Northern Ireland, Age Concern Northern Ireland and the Workers Educational Association in Northern Ireland. Cap’s vision of a strong and informed voice capable of challenging attitudes and approaches to ageing is encapsulated in the strapline – older, louder, stronger.

Project Research Staff  
Dr Una Lynch 

Principal Inverstigator             
Professor Sally Wheeler

Research Students       
Nathan Emmerich, Lynn Johnston, Brendan Sturgeon, Caoimhe McCutcheon, Sarah Machniewski, 

Dr Una Lynch | Researcher


Una Lynch is a nurse and midwife. She has worked in public health: practice,education and policy in Ireland (North and South), Bolivia and WHO, Copenhagen and has a keen interest in reciprocal learning with partners in the developing world. Her doctoral thesis is entitled Public Health: why arethe Cubans so successful? Research interests include public health and the impact of policy on health. Una was appointed to the School position ofResearch Manager with the Changing Ageing Partnership (Cap), in theInstitute of Governance in June 2006.

Nathan Emmerich | Research Student
Nathan Emmerich holds a BA in Philosophy and the History and Philosophy of Science and a MA in Healthcare Ethics from the University of Leeds and an M.Res. from the Queen's University Belfast. He is the CAP Web Manager for QUB.
Institute of Governance
Queen’s University Belfast
Room: G025
E-mail: nemmerich01@qub.ac.uk
Supervisors: Professor Lindsay Prior; Dr Matt Wood.
Completion date: September 2010

Title: Gerontology and Healthcare Ethics
This research concerns the health and social care of the older person and focuses on the interactions of the various professionals involved with the care delivered by the modern Health and Social Care Trusts. I intend to examine the borders between ‘medical’ and ‘social’ care and the conception and praxis of healthcare. Utilising a Bourdieuan framework I intend to interrogate the adequacy of the predominant theory of medical ethical practise (the four principles) in the gerontological context. Additionally I intend to examine the construction of the gerontological body from within the discourse of professional carers and its ‘ethical’ implications.

Lynn Johnston | Research Student
Lynn Johnston has experience in community education and development in NI. Her BA (Hons) degree from Leeds Polytechnic was in Home Economics 20 years ago and she has continually studied since then, her most recent achievement being a Diploma in the Management of Lifelong Learning from Queens.
Institute of Child Care Research
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Email: ljohnston34@qub.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr Kathryn Higgins, Dr Laura Dunne
Completion date: March 2010

Title: Intergenerational Practice in Belfast.
Older people and younger people are both groups who have experienced negative stereotyping and prejudice within our society. The fact that we will have appointed commissioners to represent the interests of these groups indicates the growth of a rights based, legislative approach to social inclusion. This research aims to explore issues that create difference and/or tension between generations in community and neighbourhood settings. Recognising the recent growth in the popularity of discrete intergenerational practice, Lynn is planning to define the nature of the practice within a variety of community environments in Belfast and to work towards identifying the realistic outcomes of such practice. It is anticipated that this research will help shape social policy in relation to intergenerational practice in Northern Ireland.

Caoimhe McCutcheon  | Research Student
Caoimhe McCutcheon holds a degree in Sociology and Politics (Joint Honours) from Queen’s University Belfast, and a MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development, also from Queen’s.
School of Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast
E-mail: cmccutcheon03@qub.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr Sally Shortall and Dr Una Lynch
Completion date: January 2011

Title: Ageing in Modern Societies: Problem or Opportunity?
Both the Developing and Developed Worlds are facing emerging issues relating to their respective elderly populations. The demographics of each of these socio-economic areas have been vastly changed, in different ways and for different reasons, and, for the most part, this has been presented as a problem for society. This research will use a participatory development theoretical framework to examine whether older people are a ‘burden’ or potentially a rich source of social capital.
This research will involve looking at the differences in demographics, cultures and customs in my two chosen areas (Northern Ireland and Zambia). Research will be conducted into areas in which older people are already making tangible contributions to society, and use this information to make recommendations for suitable social development projects which could be rolled out in similar areas.

Brendan Sturgeon | Research Student 
Room G018 Tel 9097 2549
Supervisors : Prof Richard English and Prof Sally Wheeler.

Topic : Anti-social activity in contemporary Northern Ireland: a political analysis of political and community responses'

The aim of this study is to inspect the levels of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in British society today; and examine the responses of our politicians, police force and community groups. The Home Office defines ASB as any ‘activity that impacts on other people in a negative way’, over 66,000 cases are reported to the authorities on a daily basis and 16.7% of the UK population sees ASB as a major problem. The core hypothesis of the study will be to question whether our politicians and police force have efficiently offered effective solutions to ASB, or have the failings of our authorities left the pursuit of ASB resolution to community groups? Has the failure of our politicians and police force to eliminate ASB led to certain sections of society taking the problem into their own hands, with the formation of community groups across the breadth of the UK? It will also focus on the after affects of ASB, looking at how people have recovered from incidents of ASB, particular attention will be given to the elderly.

Sarah Machniewski | Reseach Student
Room G018 Tel 9097 2549
Supervisors : Dr Paddy Hillyard and Dr Una Lynch 
Completion date: Sept 2009
Title: A hidden problem: Social harms affecting the elderly in Northern Ireland.

This research aims at highlighting significant forms of harm that may affect the elderly in Northern Ireland. These harms can be physical (falls, accidents, injuries), financial (income poverty, fuel poverty), and psychological (fear of crime). Figures have shown that these types of harm are occurring at a much higher rate than crime, and are often much more detrimental. While looking at the figures on mortality, injuries and crime, this research will also incorporate the role of the media in our persistent focus on the battle with crime, and how the media have come to construct our one dimensional view of what dangers exist to the elderly. The media highlight criminal acts against the elderly, but as a result may be creating a psychological harm (fear of crime). Also by maintaining focus on crime emphasis will remain on crime reduction strategies, increased spending in the police service, and policies of social control, resources which could be relocated to fulfilling the governments responsibility towards older people through improved public polices and health care.  


Photos of the Project Launch


Professor Sally Wheeler (Director of the Institute of Governance at QUB),

Professor Ellen Douglas Cowie (Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) and

Mr Martin Bradley Chief Nursing at DHSS&PS

  Dr Laura Dunne*,

Ken Logue (The Atlantic Philanthropies)

Professor Sally Wheeler (Director of the Institute of Governance at QUB) and

Dr Karim Hadjri* and Dr John Garry*

*award holders

   Dr Karim Kadhri (Architecture)

Roz Goldie and Joanne Murphy


Ms Joan Cosgrove Newtownabbey Senior Citizen Forum

 Institute of Governance and UNISON International Group Guest Lecture  October 2008  


Una Lynch (QUB) Paul Maguire (UNISON) Prof Pietroni



 Damian Murray, Paul Maguire, Conor, Una Lynch, Patrick Pietroni


 Patricia McKeown Gen Secretary UNISON & Prof Pietroni