Creating Knowledge Conference – Thriving, Inclusive Communities 1

David Best – Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Strengths-based working in UK prisons

Imprisonment is a major life trauma with significant adverse consequences for people who spend time there. In the UK, there were 325 deaths in prison custody in the previous 12 months, up 8% on the previous year; 49,565 self-harm incidents, a rise of 20%; 32,559 assaults in prison, a rise of 20%, incorporating both increases in prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and assaults on staff (Ministry of Justice, 2018). Further, there is a ‘revolving door’ effect with global evidence suggesting that more than 40% of those leaving prison will be re-convicted within two years, with higher rates among vulnerable prisoners

Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Justice has introduced ‘Rehabilitative Culture’ (Mann et al, 2017) to focus on wellbeing and effective reintegration post-release. A team from Sheffield Hallam University (including three PhD students) has been central to this model, introducing strengths-based initiatives across four prisons in the north of England to:

– engage family members in supporting the transition to the community

– improve recovery from drug problems among prisoners

– identify community assets within the prison and ‘through the gate’

– implement a strengths-based approach to prison inspection and governance

Some of this work is summarised in a special issue of the Prison Services Journal (Wheatley, King and Best, 2019) and the paper will describe the co-produced studies and projects that make up this initiative, and consider the benefits and challenges of working in prisons.


Christine Gilligan, Pallavi Singh – Sheffield Business School, Department of Management
Social Enterprise – working together to support the SDGs

The Real Junk Food Project (Sheffield), now known as Food Works Sheffield (FWS), is a non-profit social enterprise that saves food from being wasted and makes it available to the people of Sheffield. It collects food from donors – corporations and supermarkets, and re-distributes it via pay-as-you-feel cafés, Sharehouse Market, an education program in schools and a catering function. So far they have saved over 319 tonnes of food from going to landfill and consequently contributed to carbon reduction. One of the organisations FWS collects food waste from is East Midlands Trains. FWS wanted to develop a better understanding of how the relationship works and the potential for expansion. Under the KTP framework we carried out a case study interviewing key stakeholders from both organisations. This paper outlines the findings and highlights how the perception by EMT of FWS as a non-profit organisation is one of the limiting factors to expansion. This research contributes to all the conference themes. The food distributed by FWS, sold on a pay as you feel basis, enables those on lower incomes to benefit – Thriving Inclusive Communities and Healthy Independent Lives, and by diverting waste from landfill it also contributes to carbon reduction thus benefitting Future Economies. Systemic and cross cutting models are needed if we want to secure a sustainable future and this paper makes a contribution to this by highlighting some of the barriers to this.


Paul Hickman – Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Using the behaviour change framework, ‘COM-B’, to understand social housing tenants’ rent payment behaviour

The Governments of many Western countries have introduced measures which have been concerned with responsibilising their citizens, so that they take on new responsibilities and behaviours. In the UK, an example of this is ‘direct payment’ which sees social housing tenants in receipt of income-related housing allowance (‘Housing Benefit’) becoming responsible for paying their rent. Drawing on a comprehensive data-set generated by the evaluation of the direct payment pilot, which included survey data, landlord rent account data, and qualitative data generated by 180 in-depth interviews with tenants, this paper examines tenants’ rent payment behaviour. It draws on a conceptual framework from behavioural science – COM-B – which presents behaviour (B) as a result of the interaction between the capabilities (C) of subjects, the opportunity (O) they have to enact behaviours, and their motivation (M). Tenants’ behaviour was influenced by all elements of the model, with it being more than just a consequence of opportunity, and their financial circumstances, specifically, although it was the most important one.


Saloomeh Tabari, Helen Egan, David Egan – Sheffield Business School
The ‘Third Place’ Role of the Café in People’s Lives: a comparison of the Islamic café and the Western café.

Although coffee drinking has been an integral part of western social life for several hundred years there is a debate as to where and when European coffee culture began. Some writers have postulated it was in London, where it is suggested British tourists returning from their travels in the Ottoman Empire brought back home the habit of drinking coffee. The first coffee house is recorded as opening its doors in London in 1652. Others, however, have proposed the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683 as the starting point, claiming that the Turks left a coffee culture behind, with the first café opening in 1685. However, what is clear is that the culture of drinking coffee and its associated social consumption space, the café, have spread across the world, often starting with the upper classes and then trickling down to the lower classes.

What this research is exploring is the ‘movement of culture’ across the global consumer, from the original Islamic café where no alcohol was served to the globalization of the Starbucks model to a whole new range of global servicescapes of the contemporary café. We are starting to unpick the local cultural meanings and the authentic and exotic meanings of contemporary café culture, with a focus on the part cafes play in people’s lives, using Rossenbaum’s concept of the third place applied to the contemporary café. Our starting point is the Islamic café, where it all began. We will consider its role in contemporary society, drawing comparisons with other café cultures that are rapidly evolving as the diversity of café cultures increases.