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Thriving not just surviving – a participatory study of wellbeing in financial hardship

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This online launch event is the opportunity to hear about a pioneering exercise in which people with lived experience of financial hardship, the national poverty charity Turn2Us and academics from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy came together to coproduce a theory of thriving.

Dr Anna Alexandrova, Dr Mark Fabian, Abby Meadows and James Ryan describe how they organised coproduction, what they learned about thriving under financial hardship, and how organisations can make people’s lived experience central to their work.

Jennifer Wallace, Carnegie UK,  also shares her thoughts on the project and the importance of participatory approaches to wellbeing.

This work will be of particular interest to people working in the charity and public policy sectors – especially in addressing wellbeing and poverty. 


Dr Anna Alexandrova is a Reader in Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and the principal investigator for the ‘Expertise Under Pressure’ group at CRASSH. 

Dr Mark Fabian is a welfare economist working on the Measuring Wellbeing project at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. His research focuses on the epistemology and ethics of wellbeing metrics, especially how policymakers and citizens understand wellbeing, its measurement, and the legitimacy of wellbeing policy interventions. 

Abby Meadows works at Turn2Us, a UK based charity fighting poverty, as their Co-production and Participation officer. She also guest lecturers in humanitarian response and the contemporary European refugee crisis at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 

James Ryan is a co-production partner with Turn2Us and has worked in the commercial function for many large multinational and UK consumer goods companies. Having experienced a life shock and resulting financial hardship, James now uses his combined experience to further develop the work of Turn2Us and other UK charities.

Jennifer Wallace is a public policy analyst and writer. She has held a range of positions in the public and voluntary sector and is currently Director at Carnegie UK Trust, where she applies a wellbeing approach to government policy and promotes wellbeing as a narrative for social change. 

More about A model of thriving

The Many Dimensions of Wellbeing Project is funded by AHRC and ESRC, and is a collaboration with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

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