Speaker biographies

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is an independent collaborative organisation that seeks to develop and share robust, accessible and useful evidence that governments, businesses, communities and people can use to improve wellbeing across the UK.

Ingrid Abreu Scherer is Programme Manager at the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. She is also a founding member and trustee of The Mill, an asset-based community development project in Walthamstow, where she leads on strategic development. She works with community groups, local authorities and charities to develop their asset maps, theories of change, governance, strategic planning, communications and more.

Download the presentation: What Works Wellbeing: making wellbeing sticky - Ingrid Abreu Scherer (PDF 1.28MB)


Professor Ian Bache (i.bache@sheffield.ac.uk) Co-Director, Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy, University of Sheffield. Ian is Professor of Politics and Co-Director of the Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy at the University of Sheffield. He is also Co-Investigator of the Community Wellbeing Evidence Programme of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing co-funded by the ESRC and a range of other partners and between 2013-15 was Principal Investigator of the ESRC Seminar Series on The Politics of Wellbeing. His publications include The Politics and Policy of Wellbeing: Understanding the Rise and Significance of a New Agenda, Edward Elgar, forthcoming August 2016 (with Louise Reardon).

Download the presentation: Wellbeing in contemporary politics - Ian Bache (PDF 124KB)

Alasdair Cochrane is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Sheffield. His research interests focus on human rights, animal ethics, environmental ethics, bioethics, the ethics of punishment and philosophical theories of well-being. He was named an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker in 2014. He is author of An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory (Palgrave, 2010); and Animal Rights without Liberation (Columbia, 2012).

Download the presentation: Wellbeing and Politics - Alasdair Cochrane (PDF 2009 KB)

Allister McGregor is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield. Throughout his career he has used his background in economics, politics and social anthropology to study how the formulation and implementation of public policies impact on poor people. For the last two decades he has worked developing a social conception of human wellbeing as a framework with which to understand the interplay between poverty, vulnerability, power and inequalities. He has written extensively on the concept and methodologies for understanding human wellbeing and operationalizing it for public policy and practice. He was a lead author in and co-editor of ‘Wellbeing in Developing Countries.’ Cambridge University Press, 2007. He has acted advisor and consultant to wide range of national and international organisations (including UK DFID, UNICEF, OECD, OXFAM, the Rockefeller Foundation).

Download the presentation: Global and Local Initiatives in Assessing Human Wellbeing - Allister McGregor (PDF 99KB)

Andy Pennington is a research fellow at the Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool: a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on the Determinants of Health Equity. He is also a built environment expert at the Design Council CABE and a visiting lecture at Oxford Brookes University. His research activities include evidence synthesis, community empowerment, community wellbeing, urban health, impact assessment and systematic evidence-based decision-making. Andy manages the What Works Wellbeing Communities Evidence Programme.

Download the presentation: Putting evidence on community wellbeing into action in Sheffield - Andy Pennington (PDF 1155 KB)

Greg Fell is a Director of Public Health in Sheffield. He graduated from Nottingham University with a degree in biochemistry and physiology in 1993. He has worked as a social researcher in a maternity unit; a number of roles in health promotion and public health before jointing the public health training scheme. Greg worked as a consultant in public health in Bradford in the PCT then Bradford council. Since Feb 2016 he has worked for Sheffield as director of public health.

Download the presentation: A view from the Town Hall - Greg Fell (PDF, 1122KB)

Mark Gamsu is a visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University focussing on the relationship between Citizenship, Inequality and Wellbeing. He is a lay member of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and works on a freelance basis supporting local commissioners and the voluntary sector work together more effectively. Mark is a Trustee of Citizens Advice and of a number of voluntary organisations in Sheffield including Darnall Wellbeing and Sheffield CAB. Recent work includes a commission from Healthwatch England to produce quality statements for local Healthwatch, undertaking reviews for large healthcare organisations on how they involve their public, developing good practice guidance on effective sustainability strategies for the local voluntary sector.


Angela Tod is Professor of Older People and Care in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Sheffield. Angela has extensive academic, research and clinical experience gained from within both healthcare and University sectors. She has a proven track record of delivering a mixed portfolio of creative and high quality research of an International standard. Angela’s research has mainly focused on care for adults and older people. Her particular research focus is in patient experience studies, especially in areas of public health, health inequalities and health care access. Recent work includes research on cold homes and health. She currently holds an ESRC seminar grant on understanding the health implications of cold homes and fuel poverty.

Jan Gilbertson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. Jan has particular experience in project and programme evaluation, she has managed numerous evaluative studies and has successfully undertaken research for a wide range of clients including DEFRA, DECC, CLG, the BIG Lottery, local authorities, the NHS and the ESRC. Much of her work over the last fifteen years has considered the effect of cold homes, fuel poverty on health and wellbeing and has evaluated the impact of energy efficiency measures, home improvement schemes and fuel poverty alleviation schemes on health. In particular Jan has expertise in relation to vulnerable populations and the barriers they often experience accessing help regarding cold homes and fuel poverty.

Download the presentation: Housing - Angela Tod and Jan Gilbertson (PDF 1057 KB) 

Liddy Goyder is Professor of Public Health and Deputy Dean in the School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield. As part of the national NIHR-funded School of Public Health Research, she is the principal investigator for the current evaluation of Sheffield City Council's Housing+ programme.

Download the presentation: Evolving role of housing officers - Liddy Goyder (PDF 83KB)

David King is a Social Value Adviser at HACT.  Working closely with the team at Simetrica, David manages and develops HACT’s practical, useful and robust approach for housing providers to measure their social impact.  With the National Housing Federation, he has produced reports on using shared systems to integrate healthcare and housing.  He also runs PricedOut, a national campaign for lower house prices.

Suzy Paisley is a Senior Research Fellow and of Director of Information Resources at ScHARR, University of Sheffield.  Suzy’s research interests are in evidence synthesis including decision-analytic modelling and systematic reviews of complex topics.  She is currently working on a scoping review of reviews on housing for the What Works Wellbeing Community Evidence Programme.

Download the presentation: Housing and Wellbeing Scoping Review - Suzy Paisley (PDF 144KB)

Jenny Rouse is Associate Director at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) a not-for-profit ‘think-and-do’ tank committed to local approaches to reduce poverty and inequality. Much of Jenny’s role is dedicated to designing strategy and measurement frameworks intended to improve wellbeing within communities. Jenny has worked on a number of projects with social housing providers to support them to ‘prove and improve’ the impact of community wellbeing initiatives, directly involving tenants in the design and conducting of evaluation. Prior to joining CLES in 2014, Jenny was based at the New Economics Foundation, where she specialised in Social Return on Investment, and she continues to maintain a professional interest in the social value agenda. Other interests include multiple and complex needs; co-production; using local economic development matters as a tool to explore wider systemic issues; and cross-sector collaborations to maximise positive outcomes. Jenny has a PhD in Psychology

Download the presentation: Working with community researchers in social housing evaluation - Jenny Rouse (PDF 93KB)


Carolyn Axtell is a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Work Psychology within Sheffield University Management School. Her research interests are in the areas of mobile and virtual work, and also the area of employee wellbeing. She has led a range of research projects within applied settings, examining the impact of new technologies and new ways of working on employees. She is also running an ESRC seminar series to explore the potential that organisational data (and Big Data) might have for identifying wellbeing risks associated with work. Carolyn is registered as a Psychologist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Download the presentation: Wellbeing and work - Carolyn Axtell and Jeremy Dawson (PDF 480KB)

Professor Jason Heyes (j.heyes@sheffield.ac.uk), Director, Work, Organisation and Employment Relations Research Centre, University of Sheffield. Jason Heyes is a Professor of Employment Relations at the University of Sheffield and director of the Management School's Work, Organisation and Employment Relations Research Centre (WOERRC). His research focuses on the connections between employment relations, the labour market and public policy. His recent work has focused on developments in European labour markets since the start of the economic crisis, including the rise in underemployment and its consequences for workers' wellbeing.

Download the presentation: Underemployment and Welbeing in the UK - Jason Hayes, Mark Tomlinson and Adam Whitworth (PDF 155KB)

Jeremy Dawson is Professor of Health Management at the University of Sheffield. His research includes a range of topics in the areas of health services management, and research methodology. He has led several large-scale projects in the NHS, particularly focussing on team working, staff engagement and well-being and their links with patient outcomes, and he led the team that ran the NHS national staff survey between 2003 and 2010. Amongst his other research interests include team and organisational climate, and work group diversity. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology.

Download the presentation: Wellbeing and work - Carolyn Axtell and Jeremy Dawson (PDF 480KB)

Kate Field has over 18 years’ experience in occupational health and safety covering most industry sectors. She spent 8 years with HSE, first as an Inspector and then moving in policy and programme work, focussing on health risks where she commissioned a number of pieces of research. Kate then moved into consultancy, including running her own successful consultancy business. Kate has written guidance material and articles for a number of publications and regularly speaks at OSH related conferences. Kate is also an experienced trainer and qualified lecturer.

Jill Miller joined the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in 2008 as a research adviser. Her role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with academics and practitioners to inform projects and shape thinking. She frequently presents on key people management issues, leads discussions and workshops, and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists, on radio and TV. She specialises in absence management, employee well-being and future HR trends.

Download the presentation: Taking employee well-being from first steps to full potential - Jill Miller (PDF 1361 KB)

Kevin Daniels is the lead for the Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme for the national What Works Wellbeing Centre and a member of the Employment Systems and Institutions Group, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia. Kevin’s main areas of expertise are work related wellbeing, health and safety – and especially how the design and experience of work influences these things. Kevin has a background in occupational psychology and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Kevin has led many projects funded by Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive amongst others. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, and has held or holds other editorial positions at the journals: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Human Relations and British Journal of Management."

Download the presentation: Well-being as a democratic concept - Kevin Daniels (PDF 326 KB)

Mark Bryan is a Reader in Economics at the University of Sheffield and a Theme Co-Lead at the Work and Learning Evidence Programme of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. He specialises in labour economics and micro-econometrics, and has published on topics such as the determinants of wage inequality, the effects of the National Minimum Wage, the size of the gender wage gap over the wage distribution, and methods for making cross-country comparisons using survey data. Recent research focuses on the reaction of couples to job loss, and the role of personal identity in determining subjective wellbeing. In addition to his academic research, Dr Bryan has carried out projects in conjunction with outside agencies such as the Low Pay Commission, BIS and DWP.

Download the presentation: Work Transitions and Wellbeing - Mark Bryan (PDF 146KB)

Mark Tomlinson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield. He is a quantitative sociologist specialising in the analysis of large scale datasets. His recent work is focussed around poverty and labour market dynamics - in particular issues of underemployment, quality of life and skill formation among the recurrently poor. His previous work has mainly involved child poverty and its effects, policy analysis, innovation systems and economic growth.

Download the presentation: Underemployment and Welbeing in the UK - Jason Hayes, Mark Tomlinson and Adam Whitworth (PDF 155KB)