In 2012 Whitley, South Reading, secured £1 million Big Local National Lottery Funding for community development over 10 years. In order to identify where funding might be allocated – local residents, community organisations, representatives from Big Local and the Northumberland Training Academy combined forces with staff and students at the University of Reading to form a participatory research network called the ‘Whitley Researchers’. The group is currently funded by the Whitley Community Development Association and the University of Reading.
Participatory research focuses on working with local residents so that projects are run with communities, rather than about them.
We are a research team committed to working together in a friendly and inclusive way where everyone’s work is equally valued. Our research centres on collaboration, co-production and participation in order to help local communities and organisations understand and tackle complex issues surrounding well-being and social exclusion in South Reading. We are trained to use a range of methods from questionnaires and secondary data analysis to interviews and focus groups.
For detailed information on past and current projects – please go to: UoR information page
Want to get involved?
The Whitley Researchers are keen to recruit more local residents, particularly young people, to work on current and future projects. Our community researchers work part-time hours to suit their lives, and are paid the Reading living wage. Training will be provided and no previous experience or formal qualifications are needed, simply enthusiasm for working with the community. Volunteers are also more than welcome.