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Personal profile



Nicky Ashley is a research assistant in the Centre of Innovative Research Across the Life Course (CIRAL) at Coventry University. She graduated with a Psychology (Hons) degree in 2008 and has since completed a Health Psychology MSc at Coventry University. Nicky has worked with the Children and Families Research team for eight years now. She has worked on large scale projects including the first Department of Health's Children's Palliative Care Funding Pilot to take place nationally along with the Big Study for Better Care for Children.

More recently she has led on projects funded by Teenage Cancer Trust evaluating high impact events for teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer and WellChild evaluating the WellChild Nurse model of care particularly from a user's perspective. Nicky has worked with a range of complex care charities, hospices and the NHS with an interest in children and young adult cancer, health psychology and improvements to family wellbeing. Her methodological expertise ranges from in depth interviews with health professionals and families to constructing surveys particularly with new innovative systems such as Filemaker which she has run training sessions on in order for other professionals to use them. Nicky has a passion for working with children and families to develop innovative, fun and interactive ways to engage in research through group activities and arts based sessions. Nicky is also an advocate for giving children and families a voice within research and understandiing their real life needs to further develop ways to support them within the community.

More recently Nicky's work has focused on evaluating the effectiveness of Mindfulness, conducting research using mindfulness interventions with children and families with long term conditions such as autism. Nicky has attended an in depth teacher training course to further develop her practice and teaching of Mindfulness, both for her own interests and for future research with children and their families. Nicky has also completed some external teaching for MSc health psychology students around long term conditions. 


Area of Expertise:


  • Conducts research which supports children, young people and their families health and wellbeing – giving them a real voice.
  • Conducts interactive and engaging techniques to involve children and their families in research evaluations.
  • Implements engaging technology apps to undertake surveys with a wide knowledge of filemaker, and has run training sessions on their usefulness.
  •  user involvement evaluations and public health psychology and participatory approach.
  • Conducts qualitative research with in depths surveys, focus groups, interviews and arts based methods.
  • Mindfulness 
  • has worked on a range of studies around long term conditions and complex care such as ventilation needs, autism spectrum disorder, teenage and young adult cancer. 
  • long term conditions 
  • childrens palliative care 

Research Interests

Children and young adult cancer, psychosocial issues of children and young people with long term conditions, autism spectrum disorder, community lead nurse support for children and families with long term conditions, mindfulness, and health psychology interventions. 

Vision Statement


Nicky Ashley is passionate about working with children, young people and their families involving them within research. She hopes that by working with families both in acute and community settings it will help to continue to give them a real voice to improve their lives and shape new processes which will benefit them directly. She hopes to continue to implement new, interesting and exciting techniques in order to do this engaging children, families and professionals in arts based interactive research.


Education/Academic qualification

Health Psychology , MSc, Coventry University

24 Sep 201528 Aug 2017

Degree, Coventry University

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Mental Health Medicine & Life Sciences
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Young Adult Medicine & Life Sciences
Nursing Medicine & Life Sciences
Nurses Medicine & Life Sciences
Ethics Medicine & Life Sciences

Research Output 2015 2018

  • 9 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 1 Abstract
  • 1 Article
Mental Health
9 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Exploring the Perceived Met and Unmet Need of Life-Limited Children, Young People and Families

Coad, J., Kaur, J., Ashley, N., Owens, C., Hunt, A., Chambers, L. & Brown, E., 2015, In : Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 30, 1, p. 45-53

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access