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Opening Spaces for Hope: How to Influence Social Policy and Change Using Psychology

13 December 2016 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
This event is free and open to BPS members and the general public. Registration is required. See Pricing tab for more information.
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Are you interested in finding out how to apply psychological knowledge to help shape policies that can really affect people’s lives?

Would you like to explore different ways of bringing about change for the health and well-being of your community? 

This free event is aimed at addressing these kinds of issues by bringing together people from community groups, those who work in policy development, researchers, educators and practitioners, and virtually anyone with an interest in creating social change (whether at the national or local level) so that we might all learn from one another's experiences and perspectives.

If you’re intrigued about these kinds of issues, do please sign up and let’s engage in a conversation about how to create movements for change and hope by applying community psychology principles and practices. 

For more information please see the Programme tab above.

Social media

If you are unable to attend but would like to stay informed of the discussions throughout the day, we will be tweeting throughout the event. Look out for #spaces4hope2016 to follow the tweets throughout the day.

Annual General Meeting of the Community Psychology Section

Please note the Community Psychology AGM will be held at 3.30pm after this event ends. If you are a member of the Commmunity Psychology Section, you are invited to attend the AGM. If you wish to attend the AGM only, no booking is required.

BPS London Office
30 Tabernacle Street

Nearest tube stations: Moorgate (Circle and Hammersmith and City) and Old Street (Northern Line City Branch)

Event Location: 

Registration will be open from 9am and the first session will start promptly at 9.30am. We have lots of fantastic people sharing their ideas with us and we have scheduled in plenty of time for group discussion... so it's important we start on time to fit it all in.

We will be tweeting throughout the event - search #spaces4hope2016 to follow the tweets throughout the day.


9.00 - 9.30 Registration
9.30 - 9.50

Welcome - Glenn Williams Chair of Community Psychology Section

Setting the scene for the "Opening Spaces for Hope" event - Miltos Hadjiosif

  Morning session: From the local to the global: How could psychology be used to shape policies and bring about change?
9.50 - 10.05 Karen Rothery CEO, Surrey Sports Park
10.05 - 10.35 Anders Dahlbeck Policy Lead, Action Aid
10.35 - 10.50 Dr Nina Browne University College London and founder of Owls
10.50 - 11.05 Break
11.10 - 12.10 Small group discussion
12.10 - 12.30 Sharing thoughts from the small group discussions in the larger group
12.30 - 1.15 Lunch break
  Afternoon session: Creating change and shaping policies: National perspectives
1.15 - 1.45 Dr Lisa Cameron MP
1.45 - 2.15 Gregor Henderson Well-Being and Mental Health Lead, Public Health England
2.15 - 3.00 Small group discussion
3.00 - 3.30 Sharing thoughts from the small group discussion in the larger group
3.30 Event closes
3.30 - 4.30 Annual General Meeting of the BPS Community Psychology Section

Speaker biographies

Dr Nina Browne
Nina is a Clinical Psychologist from UCL and is setting up a new social enterprise called Owls with Charlie Howard, founder of MAC-UK. Owls gather and test new ideas from the streets to find new solutions that enable communities to thrive.

Current work includes the Mayors Thrive London strategy and Camerados, a new peer support movement to end social isolation in the UK and US. Nina has a long standing commitment to Community Psychology, working with the third sector and addressing wider social contexts in service delivery.

She has worked for 14 years in mental health services in Australia and the UK, with particular interests in the housing sector and working with BME groups and excluded young people.

Nina will discuss her research ‘Practice to Policy’ which explored the experiences of prominent clinical psychologists shaping social and mental health policy. The findings offer insights into ameliorative and transformative policy work, with the potential to inspire and enable other psychologists to work in this way and the influence training and practice. Findings suggested that clinical psychologists possess translatable skills to work effectively within broader political systems for social change. 

Dr Lisa Cameron
Dr Cameron has been an active local representative for the UK’s biggest trade union, Unite, for more than 12 years, and has campaigned for workers’ rights, pay, pensions, and on issues of discrimination and equality, and continues to do this as a member of the Trade Union Bill Committee at Westminster.

Lisa is the Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Climate Justice and sits on the International Development Committee as well as Chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability.

She attended the Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York as the sole representative from Scotland, where world leaders formally adopted an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. This will serve as a launch pad for action by the international community and by national governments to promote shared international development and well-being. The global goals are vital to eradicate poverty and to work towards equality and social justice.

Anders Dahlbeck
Anders Dahlbeck is a Policy Advisor with ActionAid UK, a development NGO headquartered in South Africa with offices in over 45 countries. He has previously worked for ActionAid in Brussels and for Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London.

He will talk about ActionAid works with communities living in poverty in developing countries to understand what their problems are and to empower them to address their own situation where possible.

He will also talk about how the information given by these communities informs ActionAid’s advocacy work at national, regional and international levels and will illustrate how ActionAid links up people living in poverty in developing countries directly with decision-makers around the world, while also helping to connect activists in the UK with activists in developing countries.

Gregor Henderson (Director of Wellbeing and Mental Health at Public Health England)

Gregor Henderson is the National Lead for Wellbeing and Mental Health, Public Health England, a national agency in England responsible for protecting and improving the public’s health and for addressing health inequalities. Gregor leads a national public mental health programme that includes mental health promotion, mental illness prevention, suicide prevention and improving the health and wellbeing of people living with and recovering from mental illness. Gregor also leads for PHE on a programme of work on community centred approaches for improving the public’s health, and the development of wellbeing for PHE. Gregor has extensive UK and international links and networks including across Government departments and agencies, the voluntary and community sector and business.
Gregor is an adviser to the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), supporting their work internationally, and part of the Global Wellbeing Lab, an international forum for progressing work on wellbeing.  In the UK, Gregor is on the Board of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and is an adviser to the Place 2 Be, a national children’s mental health charity working in schools. Gregor believes in combining policy, research, practice and people’s lived experiences to help transform the way people and communities, think and act about mental health and wellbeing. Gregor writes on mental health and wellbeing and has published a number of articles and book chapters. He also lectures across the UK, Europe, and internationally. 
Gregor will share some of his experiences and learning of how to influence, shape, support and respond to policy from his time in Scotland as Director of a National Mental Health programme, his time working with the Department of Health and in his current role with Public Health England.

Karen Rothery (Surrey Sports Park Chief Executive)
Karen Rothery is the current Chief Executive Officer of Surrey Sports Park, the University of Surrey’s world class sports and physical activity venue, which hosts students, elite sports people and community members in their sporting endeavours.

She joined in 2015 after 7 years as CEO of British Universities & Colleges Sport, the national body for student sport, and 3 years as Commercial Director of England Netball. She had a separate first career in the international clothing manufacturing industry, which ended in 2004 with the successful Olympics bid, and a career change into sport via a full time Masters degree at Loughborough University.

A self-confessed feminist, and one of the few women in leadership positions in sport in the UK, she has championed equality in the workplace, and will share her experiences of the challenges faced by sports industry leaders in 2016. Karen will also illustrate how a community group for children with learning and physical disabilities helped her appreciate more fully the cultural capital and community benefit of a major University Sports Centre.  


Further speaker information coming soon.

Registration information

Places are limited and early booking is advised.

Clicking on the register button will take you to the BPS online Shop - please sign in using your usual BPS membership number and password.

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Once you have signed in, click on this event to register and you should be able to complete the form and add to basket.


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