Cherry Buckwell

PhD researcher Cherry Buckwell.

Understanding how communities create sustainable population behaviour change

European Centre for Environment and Human Health

This project by European Centre for Environment and Human Health researcher Cherry Buckwell is seeking to understand how some local communities have worked to improve the wellbeing of the population in ways that last.

Cornwall has several examples of successful and lasting changes in community behaviour including the Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership and nationally acclaimed healthy workplace food manufacturer Ginsters.

Cherry is working with Ginsters and the Beacon Partnership to understand the ways in which they operate within the socio-ecological environments they are part of. She is also assessing the value of complexity theory as a sense making tool for social systems.

Cherry has been attending community activities, carrying out observations and conducting interviews and feedback sessions with both organisations. Her results from initial data sets have been disseminated through conferences in the UK and the second phase of the study is underway.

To date the research has identified several characteristics in the populations under study that support processes necessary for sustainable population behaviour change. It is hoped that the findings will be used to inform public health policy and tackle health inequalities.