Meet the Team


Martin Webber is a Reader in Social Work at the University of York and a registered social worker. His research interests are in social inclusion, social capital and mental health social work, with a particular interest in the development and evaluation of interventions that improve social, as well as clinical, outcomes. He is co-editor of Reflective Practice in Mental Health: Advanced Psychosocial Practice with Children, Adolescents and Adults (Jessica Kingsley, 2010, with Jack Nathan) and author of Evidence-based Policy and Practice in Mental Health Social Work (2nd edition, Learning Matters, 2011), both aimed at supporting the professional development of advanced social work practitioners.  Martin is Principal Investigator on the Connecting People study and you can find out more about him and his work on his blog.



Meredith Newlin, Msc, BS is a Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the University of York and based full time in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. With degrees in child development (University of Minnesota- Twin Cities) and health psychology (University College London and King’s College London), Meredith has previously worked on research projects related to family interventions for youth offenders and the impact of risk perceptions on sexual health behaviour. She also serves on the Board of Directors for an African development organisation. These experiences led to her strong interest in supporting strategic efforts that empower individuals within community-based health and social care. Meredith is involved in the piloting of the intervention, working closely with many of the agencies.



Sharon Howarth, Msc, BS is a Senior Research Assistant at the School of Health, University of Central Lancashire. She has a background in psychology, with a focus on sport and exercise psychology and is interested in how sport and exercise initiatives can enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. Sharon has conducted a systematic review looking at interventions that promote the social participation and well-being of adults with a learning disability or mental health problem, which is due to be published shortly. Sharon is involved with piloting the intervention, facilitating training sessions with different agencies and conducting interviews with new referrals to the agencies.



David Morris PhD, BA, CQSW, DASS, FRSA, is Professor of Mental Health, Inclusion and Community in the School of Health,University of Central Lancashire where he is also Director of the Inclusion Institute. He holds a Visiting Academic Associate post in the Health Service and Population Research Department of the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London. He was Director of the cross – government National Social Inclusion Programme (2004-2009) at the National Institute for Mental Health in England.  David has founded and led a number of programmes in the field of inclusion and health equalities and contributes widely both nationally and internationally in a range of advisory and consultative roles to the development of policy and practice on social inclusion such as the new Inclusion Health programme at the Department of Health.  With a professional background in social work and management of Mental Health services in social care, David’s career has spanned statutory and voluntary sectors, central and local government, social care, health and academia. His PhD on community engagement and primary care was undertaken at the University of Manchester. He has been a member of the College of Occupational Therapy Research Foundation Advisory Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts with whom he is working on ‘Connected Communities’, a four year funded programme on social networks and community capital.


Sam Treacy Photo


Sam Treacy  is a researcher at the University of York, but is based full-time in the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. She has a background in psychology, having worked predominantly with adults with mental health problems across community, inpatient and forensic settings. Sam has previously worked on research projects looking at substance misuse services across England, an RCT into the impact of Joint Crisis Plans, an international study looking at the stigma and discrimination experienced by mental health service users, and most recently a study looking at the outcomes and implementation of personal budgets for mental health service users in England. Sam will be involved in conducting the follow-up interviews with both the service users and staff from within the agencies that have been involved in the Connecting People Study.



Ian Norris is a Senior Administrative Assistant at the School of Health, University of Central Lancashire. He has a large amount of experience and knowledge in this area having worked in different administrative roles since 2001. The majority of his work has been at Local Government level with posts held at Lancashire County Council and most recently Sheffield City Council.

Ian’s role is to provide administrative support throughout the duration of the Connecting People Study, including managing interview schedules of participants and creating bespoke training materials for the agencies involved to use within their teams.



Tracey Hawkes is a Research Administrator at the University of York. She has a particular interest in mental health and supporting individuals in the wider community after working for 5 years, until 2010, with students with mental health problems and learning difficulties or disabilities within a College of Further & Higher Education. Since 2010 she has worked on multiple research projects within the NHS focusing on Oncology and Palliative Care. She will liaise with the team to provide administrative support on the CP study until its completion.



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