Personal profile

PhD Project

Jen's PhD project is an analysis of how UK faith groups (other than Christians) are responding to hardship. This work seeks particularly to look 'beyond the foodbank' at how groups are responding to hardship not just on an individual level, but at a structural one, as well as to understand the motivations of volunteers, and the impact of different interventions on people's experience of hardship.


While she's currently undertaking a social sciences PhD about hardship and inequality, Jen's background is in health and wellbeing. Having developed an interest in health inequalities while studying medicine as an undergraduate, before moving to an economically-deprived estate in the North East, she stepped out from formal medical training to study part-time for a Masters in Public Health, alongside grassroots youth and community work, connecting up health promotion initiatives and mentoring young people. This led to a growing interest in the structural factors that lead to poverty, hardship, inequality and poor health, as well as in how churches are responding to these issues.

Jen's MPH dissertation drew on her part-time work with a housing social enterprise, using a realist review-inspired approach to consider the mechanisms by which a salutogenic approach to temporary housing could benefit the physical and mental health of residents.

Research Interests

Poverty, inequality, faith groups, health and wellbeing

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Public Health, MSc, University of Manchester

1 Sept 20151 Sept 2021

Award Date: 10 Sept 2021

Medicine, Degree, Newcastle University

21 Sept 20091 Jul 2015

Award Date: 1 Jul 2015


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