Centre for Seldom Heard Voices

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The Seldom Heard Voices: marginalisation and societal integration Research Centre brings together a range of academics of different disciplines from across Social Sciences and Social Work as well as colleagues from health disciplines such as Mental Health Nursing. The Centre includes early career researchers keen to be mentored as well as established researchers.

Our aim is to collaborate, develop and share networks for joint research activities and funding bids to achieve a critical mass of high quality social science focused research within the Faculty. Our research relies on both qualitative and quantitative methods to engage with marginalised communities and often excluded or silenced voices, particularly through user-led (Social Work) and participatory, co-created approaches.

Our work demonstrates significant impact on the communities involved. We share a value of applying our research to real-world challenges to create maximum societal impact. This includes a wide range of categories of people and communities (e.g. looked-after children, youth in the developing world or conflict areas, youth and disability, parental substance use, sexuality and well-being, stigmatised or threatened minorities, immigrants and trafficking victims, carers, homelessness, diverse identities and many more). Impact includes contributions to child and adult social care practice, policy and practice influence, and theoretical contributions to conflict resolution and community empowerment in the UK and globally, including in Kosovo, Malaysia and Costa Rica.

We have a strong track record of developing collaborative partnerships with communities and other key stakeholders. Our approach epitomizes the `Fusion’ of professional practice, research and education to make a difference to real world challenges, and to produce measurable impacts at individual, community and wider global societal levels.

Our research at a glance

Please see below for a range of conference posters capturing some of the current research and proposal areas within our Centre.

Current research

Research themes

Marginalisation and Social Inclusion

Our research in this area has a broad base and spans a number of disciplines including sociology, social anthropology, criminology, social policy, law, history, politics and social work. In particular we are interested in seldom heard groups. Current research includes:

  • Urban and rural homelessness,
  • Mixed heritage women in 18th century Jamaica,
  • Seldom heard voices of researchers undertaking sensitive research,
  • Arts-based methods to elicit seldom heard voices,
  • Stories of infertility and childlessness,
  • Sexual well being and physical disability.

Conflict, Identities and Transformation

Our research in this area has a broad base and spans a number of disciplines including sociology, social anthropology, criminology, social policy, law, and  politics . In particular we are interested in seldom heard groups. Current research includes:

  • Human rights for North Korean women and trafficking survivors in China,
  • Active citizenship through the arts for young people in post-conflict Kosovo,
  • Nationalism,
  • What does Brexit mean for the UK social care workforce,
  • Hate crime,
  • – and disability,
  • – and societal divisions (Brexit-related, Balkan conflict),

Social Work and Social Practice

Our research in this area includes practice across a number of disciplines including social work, mental health nursing, and social care practice . In particular we are interested in thinking critically about practice, and engaging seldom heard voices in this reflexive process. Current research includes:

  • Older male carers over the age of 85 years,
  • Child mortality and austerity,
  • Ethics of care,
  • Acknowledging and accrediting professional reasoning and judgement,
  • Dignity and human rights for people with Down’s Syndrome,
  • Child homicide assailants.


Recent publications

Peer-reviewed outputs in research area published/accepted since 1st Jan 2014

Ashencaen Crabtree, S. with Gatinao, A., Vasif, C., Nicholson, C., Blake Boland, M., Speith, N. and Choe, J-Y. , 2017. Talk About Success: BU Women Academics Speak. London: WAN/Catford Press.​

Ashencaen Crabtree, S., 2017. Problematizing the context and construction of vulnerability and risk in relation to British Muslim ME groups. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought36, pp.247-265.

Ashencaen Crabtree, S. 2017. Social work with Muslim communities: Treading a Critical Path Over the Crescent Moon, in Beth Crisp (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work. Routledge.

Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Parker, J., Azman, A., Masu’d, F. 2015. Typologies of learning in international student placements, Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development. 25 (1), 42-53, Doi: 10.1080/02185385.2014.1003393 (IF 0.333)

Ashencaen Crabtree, S. and Parker, J. 2015. Being male in female spaces: Perceptions of male students on masculinity on a qualifying course. Revista de Asistenţă Socială, anul XIII, 4/2014, pp. 7-26, www.swreview.ro

Ashencaen Crabtree, S. and Parker, J. 2014. Reflections on Social Work and Human Rights, SUHAKAM Malaysian Journal on Human Rights Journal, pp.19-30

Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Parker, J., Azman, A. & Carlo, D. P. 2014. Epiphanies and learning in a postcolonial Malaysia context: A preliminary evaluation of international social work placements. International Social Work. 57(6): 618-629 doi: 10.1177/0020872812448491 (IF 0.438)

Fenge, L. Cutts, W. and Seagrave, J. (in press) Understanding homelessness through poetic inquiry: looking into the shadows, Social Work and Social Sciences Review

Fenge, L. and Lee, S. In press. Understanding the risks of financial scams as part of elder abuse prevention, British Journal of Social Work.

Fenge, L. and Jones, K.  and Gibson, C.2018. Meaningful dissemination produces the ‘long tail’ that engenders community impact, Qualitative Inquiry,  18 (1) : 45-54

Brown, K., Fenge, L.  & Lee, S July 12, 2017. How loneliness in older people makes them more vulnerable to financial scammers. The Conversation [online]. Available from:  https://theconversation.com/how-loneliness-in-older-people-makes-them-more-vulnerable-to-financial-scammers-73483

Dickinson, E., Fenge, L. and Rosenorn-Lanng, E. 2017. The Impact of Leadership Development on GP Mental Health Commissioning, Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 30 Issue: 3, pp.343-351,

Fenge, L., Hodges, C., and Cutts, W. 2016. Performance Poetry as a Method to Understand Disability, FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research Sozialforschung, Volume 17, No. 2, Art. 11

Fenge, L. 2014. Developing understanding of same sex partner bereavement for older lesbian and gay people: implications for social work practice, Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 57(2-4): 288-304.

Fenge, L., Hean. S., Staddon, S., Clapper, A., Heaslip, V., and Jack., E. 2014. Mental health and the criminal justice system: the role of interagency training to promote practitioner understanding of the diversion agenda, Journal of Social and Family Welfare Law, 36(1):36-46

Jones, K. & Fenge, L 2017. Gifted Stories: How Well Do We Retell the Stories that Research Participants Give Us? Creative Approaches to Research, vol. 10. no. 1, pp. 35-51.

Hean, S., Staddon, S., Fenge, L, Clapper, A., Heaslip, V. and Jack, E. 2015. Improving collaborative practice to address offender mental health: criminal justice and mental health service professionals’ attitudes towards interagency training, current training needs and constraints, Journal of Research in Interprofessional Practice and Education Available from: http://jripe.org/jripe/index.php/journal/article/viewFile/182/111

Harding AJE & Pritchard C 2016. UK and Twenty Comparable Countries GDP Expenditure-on-Health 1980-2013: The Historic and Continued Low Priority of UK Health Related Expenditure. International Journal of Health Policy & Management. 5, 1-5. Doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.93

Heaslip, V., Hutchings, M., Wardrop, A., Crowley, E., Eccles, S., Hunt, C., Tooth, R., Collins, B. In review.  Situating the evidence for impact of outreach strategies: a systematic review for improving access to higher education. Submitted to Studies in Higher Education.

 Heslop R 2015. The Contribution of David H Bayley: Policing Research Pioneer. Police Practice & Research: An International Journal 16 (6).

Hodges, C. E. M., Fenge, L.-A. & Cutts, W 2014. ‘Challenging Perceptions of Disability through Performance Poetry Methods: The “Seen but Seldom Heard” Project’, Disability & Society, DOI:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09687599.2014.907775 (IF 1.03)

 Hughes, M 2017. The Parents Story Project: Gaining insight into parental substance use, Journal of Education Social Work, submitted.

Hughes, M., 2017. What difference does it make? Findings of an impact study of service user and carer involvement on social work students’ subsequent practice. Social Work Education36(2), pp.203-216.

Hughes, M., Mead, J., M. Warren, A., and Atkins, P 2016. Evaluating the impact of service user and carer involvement in health and social work qualifying programmes:  A thematic analysis of student evaluations. In development

Hunt C, Collins B, Wardrop A, Hutchings M, Heaslip V, Pritchard C. 2018. First- and second- generation design and engineering students: experience, attainment and factors influencing them to attend university. Higher Education Research and Development. 37 (1), 30-43. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2017.1342607

Keen, S., Brown, K., Holroyd, J. and Rosenorn-Lanng, E., 2014. Evaluating the impact of the IPOP (improving personal and organisational performance) programme: An introductory leadership and management development module for social work managers. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 17 (1), 64-82.

Lee, S and Fenge, L-A and Collins, B, In press. Natural alignment: exploratory social work research and phenomenological approaches. Qualitative Social Work

Lee, S. and Fenge, L. 2017. Support for Community Nurses in Financial Scamming, Journal of Community Nursing, 31(6)

Lee, S., Fenge, L., and Collins, B. 2017. Promoting sexual well-being in social work education and practice, Social Work Education: The International Journal, Advance Access http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2017.1401602

Lee, S and Fenge, L-A, 2016. Sexual Well-being and Physical Disability. British Journal of Social Work. Advanced Access doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcw107

Lim, H-J. 2015. ‘Chinese and Korean Mothers in England: Motherhood, Gender and Employment’, Families, Relationships and Societies. Impact factor: 0.356

Oakley, L., Fenge, L., Bass, S., and Humphreys, J. 2016. “Exploring the complexities of understanding vulnerability and adult safeguarding within Christian Faith Organisations’, Journal of Adult Protection, 18(3)172-183

Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., and Brown, K.  2016. ‘Safeguarding Adults and Mass Marketing Fraud, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law

Olivier, S., Burls, T., Fenge, L., and Brown, K. 2015. “Winning and losing”: Vulnerability to Mass Marketing Fraud, Journal of Adult Protection, 17(6) 360-370.

Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree, S.A., 2017. Social Work with Disadvantaged and Marginalised People. Learning Matters. London: Sage.

Parker, J., Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Azman, A., Nikku, B.R. and Nguyen, U.T.T., 2017. Towards a Typology of Social Work Assessments: Developing practice in Malaysia, Nepal, United Kingdom and Vietnam. Social Work & Society International Online Journal15(2).

Parker, J. Ashencaen Crabtree, S., Azman, A., Carlo, D.P., Cutler, C. 2014. Problematising international placements as a site of intercultural learning European Journal of Social Work, 18 (3), 383-396, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2014.925849 (IF 0.678)

Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree, S. 2014. Covert research and adult protection and safeguarding: an ethical dilemma? Journal of Adult Protection, 16, 1, 1-12.

Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree, S. 2014. Ripples in a pond: Do social work students need to learn about terrorism? Social Policy & Social Work in Transition, 3 (2), 50-73, DOI: 10.1921/4704030201.

Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree, S., 2014. Fish need Bicycles: An exploration of the perceptions of male social work students on a qualifying course. British Journal of Social Work. 44(2):310-327  doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcs117. (IF 0.65)

Parker, J. and Ashencaen Crabtree, S. Advanced access 6 November 2015. Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem? Reflections on teaching participatory asset mapping Community Development Journal. doi:10.1093/cdj/bsv043 (IF 1.145

Pritchard C & Williams R 2014. The case for social work. Evidence base. Professional Social Work, BASW; July/August, 20-21.

Pritchard C, Williams R, Wallace MS 2014. Child Mortality and Poverty in the Western nations 1980-2010: Are English-Speaking-Countries’ children disadvantaged?  Childhood,22, 138-144.DOI:10.1177/0907568213513308.

Pritchard C & Harding AJE 2014.  An analysis of National Health Service Trust websites on the occupational background of Non-Executive Directors on England’s Acute Trusts. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Open, 5, 1-5 doi: 10.1177/2054270414528894 .

Pritchard C & Silk A 2014. A Case-Study Survey of an Eight-year Cluster of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Referrals in a Rural English Village: Exploring Possible Aetiological Influences in a Hypothesis Stimulating Study. Journal of Neurological Disorders, 2. 1-5.

Pritchard C & Wallace MS 2015. Comparing UK and Other Westerns Countries’ Health Expenditure, Relative Poverty & Child Mortality. Are British children doubly disadvantaged? Children & Society, 29;462-472. DOI. 10:111/chso.12079

Pritchard C & Hansen L 2015. Examining Undetermined and Accidental Deaths as source of `Under-Reported –Suicide’ by age and sex in twenty Western countries. Community Mental Health Journal.do 10.1007/s10597-014-9810-z

Pritchard C & Rosenorn-Lanng E 2015. A Controlled Study of Changing USA Neurological Deaths of people aged 55-74 and 75+ by gender compared with 20 Western countries 1989-2012:  A hypothesis stimulating study. Surgical Neurology International, doi:10.4103/2152-7806.161420

Pritchard C, Harding AJE, Rosenorn-Lanng E 2015. Do British and Irish Surgeons Operate Under Fiscal Disadvantage? GDP Health Expenditure in the Western World 1980-2013. Journal of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.47; 21-24.

Pritchard C 2015. Under-reported suicides hiding or compounding the tragedy? Mental Health Today, May-June 18019

Pritchard C, Rosenorn-Lanng E, Hickish T, Wallace MSW 2016. Population Based Study Comparing UK and 20 Western countries efficiency in reducing adult (55-74) Cancer and Total Mortality rates 1989-2010: cause for cautious celebration? Journal Royal Society Medicine Open, 1-10. DOI: 1177/2054270416635036

Pritchard C & Mirza S 2016. Under-fives Child Mortality and Child-Abuse-Related-Deaths in the Former USSR: Is there an Under-reporting of Abuse related deaths? Child Abuse Review. 25; 218-229.

Pritchard C & Keen S 2016. Child Mortality and Poverty in Three World Regions – The West, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa 1988-2010: Evidence of relative intra-regional neglect? Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 44;734-741

Pritchard C & Keen S 2017. Child Mortality and Child-Abuse-Related-Deaths in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Estonia, FRY Macedonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia compared to Western comparators USA and UK (1988-90 to 2012-14) British Journal Social Work, in press.

Pritchard C, Rosenorn-Lanng E, & Evans BT 2016. When Surgeons Weep: Psychosocial Impact of a Surgical Complication upon the Surgeon: A Structured ASGBI Survey. Journal Association Surgeons Great Britain & Ireland, 49; 31-37.

Read, R., 2014. Images of Care, Boundaries of the State: Volunteering and Civil Society in Czech Health Care. Social Analysis, 58 (3), 90-160.

Schwandner-Sievers, S., 2017, and I. Armakolas et al., Introduction, in: State-Building in Post-Independence Kosovo: Policy Challenges and Societal Considerations, ed. by Armakolas, Schwandner-Sievers, et al. Prishtina: Open Society Foundation, 29 – 48.

 Schwandner-Sievers, S.  and Melanie Klinkner, (forthcoming 2019). Longing for Lost Normalcy: Social Memory, Transitional Justice and the ‘House Museum’ to Missing Persons in Kosovo. Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity.

Wardrop, A., Hutchings, M., Collins, B., Eccles, S., Heaslip, V., Hunt, C. and Pritchard, C.2016. Troubling ideas for widening participation: how higher education institutions in England engage with research in their access agreements. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning. 18 (2), 84-110. http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/WPLL.18.2.84

Warren, A., Hughes, M., Fry, J. and Cescutti-Butler, L., 2017. Involvement in midwifery education: Experiences from a service user and carer partnership. British Journal of Midwifery25(8), pp.524-530.

Williams R & Pritchard 2016. An Analysis of the Psychosocial Backgrounds of Youths (13-18) Who-Pose-Sexual-Risk to Children: The need for debate. Journal of Social Work, doi: 10.1177/1468017316651992

 REF returnable books in research area published/accepted since 1st Jan 2014 (criterion 2)

Fenge, L., Lee, S. and Brown, K. (2017) Safeguarding Adults: Scamming and Mental Capacity, London:Sage

Fenge, L., Howe, K., Hughes, M., & Thomas (2014) The Social Work Portfolio: A guide to evidencing your practice, London:Sage

Williams S, Rutter L ., (2015) The Practice Educators Handbook.3rd ed.  London: Sage


This section provides links to some of our creative outputs and activities:

The AHRC Changing the Story’ Project, of which we lead the ‘Kosovo Strand’, including project videos.

The Seen but Seldom Heard Project – youth and disability.

The Seen But Seldom Heard Project – short film about the project using performance poetry to explore disability.

The Older Carer’s research study: Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

The Parent’s Story Project: Parental substance use. Trailer for the play SCORE!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svvwt2qBAmY

The Gay and Grey Project

The cross-faculty ‘Conflict Transformation Studies’ project.


Head: Professor Lee-Ann Fenge, Professor of Social Care

Deputy Heads: Dr Mel Hughes and Dr Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers


Associated Members

PhD students

PhD Students

David Galley

Giulia Levi

Louise Oliver

Funmi Omotade

Melsia Tomlin-Kraftner

Latest news from Centre for Seldom Heard Voices:

  • New paper published on public involvement in health and social sciences research

    Within the Bournemouth University PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership and the BU Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices, the team have been re-evaluating the nature and purpose... »

  • Hidden Dorset Report

    This month saw the launch of the Dorset Community Foundation’s Hidden Dorset Report. Dr Mel Hughes, Seldom Heard Voices Research Centre and Academic lead for the PIER partnership supported the... »

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