I-SPHERE hosts a series of online seminars throughout the year with guest speakers from across the UK and beyond.

We will announce more events soon so watch this space.

I-SPHERE seminar – Emily Kenway

Date: November 16, 2023
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

The Ambivalence of Street Life: Exploring ‘modern slavery’ and money-making among people experiencing homelessness 

People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are recognised to be at heightened risk of ‘modern slavery’ including human trafficking and forced labour. The limited available data on PEH who become victims shows that, mostly, they were initially recruited into that circumstance by a job offer, e.g. a person approaching them at a soup kitchen with an offer. Thus far, policy responses have focused on ‘raising awareness’ among i) homelessness service staff to identify victims and ii) PEH to warn them of dubious recruitment approaches. This project seeks to develop a fuller and more nuanced account of the recruitment of destitute people as a multi-dimensional process, focusing on the ways PEH understand and respond to offers of money-making activities. This presentation provides the findings from the initial wave of interviews and analysis, conducted among people currently living in Edinburgh who are currently or recently homeless and who have the right to be in the UK. Content note: sexual violence, exploitation, violence, bereavement. 

Emily Kenway, is a doctoral scholar at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. and author of ‘Who Cares: the hidden crisis of caregiving and how we solve it’.

I-SPHERE Seminar- Carla Reeson

Date: October 24, 2023
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Online

The Implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: Single Homelessness and the HRA

Dr Carla Reeson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Nottingham. She completed her PhD in 2022 and holds research interests in housing law and policy, social welfare, and administrative justice. Carla has delivered teaching in a range of areas including property law, public and administrative Law, and homelessness law and policy.

This seminar explores research conducted on frontline implementation of the HRA 2017 within local authorities in the Midlands. This research used an ethnographic case study methodology to observe how new statutory homelessness obligations were performed in practice and to consider whether the ambitious aims of the HRA 2017 to reduce homelessness and revolutionise the culture of homelessness service delivery, had been realised. The seminar focuses on findings relating to experiences of single households within the revised statutory framework.

I-SPHERE Seminar with Dora Welker

Date: April 19, 2023
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: MS Teams

Victim Moves or Survivor Stays? Domestic abuse safe housing in England and Scotland

Dora Welker presents the findings of her PhD research project looking at housing problems and domestic abuse. Drawing on evidence from key informant interviews and service user focus groups in England and Scotland, the talk explores some of the key housing routes for individuals fleeing domestic abuse and their merits/challenges: 1) the statutory homelessness system, 2) communal refuge, and 3) sanctuary schemes. The seminar considers how ongoing controversies about different housing provision for survivors of domestic abuse contribute to broader debates around the ‘victim moves’ assumption and the move away from ‘shelterisation’ of homelessness services.

I-SPHERE seminar – Poverty, parent work intensity and child emotional and conduct problems with Morag Treanor and Patricio Troncoso

Date: January 18, 2023
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Poverty is known to be associated with poorer child mental wellbeing. Relatedly, the security and quality of employment are reported to affect adult wellbeing. Less is known about how both poverty and parental employment affect children’s mental wellbeing.

In this seminar, I-SPHERE’s Professor Morag Treanor and Dr Patricio Troncoso discuss a new paper in which they use the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study to examine how poverty and work intensity are associated with mental wellbeing. The paper discusses how the findings can inform policies to tackle the effects of unstable and/or changing socioeconomic circumstances on children’s mental health wellbeing in the context of an economic crisis, as well as its implications for the contemporary socioeconomic landscape and the devastating effects expected of the COVID-19 crisis.

You can read their paper here

God and Good Works with Dr. Ravi Gokani, Lakeland University, Canada

Date: December 7, 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

In this seminar, Dr. Ravi Gokani discussed the evidence and implications of the ‘dual mandate’ in Canada: how evangelical faith-based social service organizations manage two mandates – the first to serve the most vulnerable populations and the second to bring followers into the fold of evangelical Christianity.

Dr. Ravi Gokani is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Science’s School of Social Work at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. With academic training in philosophy, social psychology, community psychology, and social work, he studies the intersection of religion and the Canadian social welfare system, including social policy and professional practice by social workers. He teachings courses in social welfare and social justice.

This seminar was not recorded but do get in touch if you would like to learn more about Ravi’s work.

The status of ‘lived experience’ in social policy research with Dr Kate Summers LSE

Date: November 21, 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: Online

Watch again the presentation by Dr Kate Summers from LSE who considers some of the epistemic implications of the emphasis on lived experience in social research. With the aim of ultimately strengthening the role of this form of research approach, the seminar poses and considers answers to three main questions: what sorts of knowledge claims can and should be made from lived experience data?; what are the implications for the position of the researcher and the research process?; what are the ethical implications and imperatives of taking such an approach?

Dr Kate Summers is a social policy researcher based in the Methodology Department at the London School of Economics. Her work focuses on social security (‘benefits’) policy and aspects of economic inequality.

“Feels like trying to move a mountain with a spoon”: the financial experiences of people with mental health problems by Conor D’Arcy

Date: June 29, 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: MS Teams

Watch again as Conor D’Arcy from Money and Mental Health presents key findings from their 2021 research and the policy responses it suggests.

Money worries and mental health problems all too often form a toxic cycle. Combining a large-scale polling exercise and qualitative research, the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute explored how, in Summer 2021, these twinned issues were playing out. The research painted a worrying picture across issues such as credit use, debt management by firms and government bodies, and the support that health and advice agencies can offer. In this talk.

Conor is Head of Research and Policy at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. He is responsible for planning and delivering the organisation’s research, and using insights from the research to develop solutions to break the link between mental health problems and financial difficulties. Prior to joining Money and Mental Health, Conor worked for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. He has spent most of his career in the third sector,  with roles at the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


What works to reduce street homelessness

Date: March 9, 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Prof Volker Busch-Geertsema present findings of our international comparative study on approaches to reduce street homelessness. 13 Vanguard cities across the globe committed to reducing or eliminating street homelessness under the Institute of Global Homelessness ‘A place to call home’ programme. The evaluation considers progress, approaches and the lessons that can be learned on what works to reduce street homelessness.

“You could just show a little more compassion”: Effective problem substance use treatment from the perspective of people experiencing homelessness

Date: February 9, 2022
Time: 12:00 am - 12:00 am
Location: Watch again

We are delighted to welcome Dr Hannah Carver from Stirling University to present our February I-SPHERE seminar 

You could just show a little more compassion”: Effective problem substance use treatment from the perspective of people experiencing homelessness

This webinar will cover the findings of a qualitative systematic review which explored what constitutes effective problem substance use treatment for people experiencing homelessness. The review brought together a body of evidence to understand people’s experiences of problem substance use treatment, which led to the development of a new model to understand effective treatment. The presentation will also cover implications for policy, practice and research.