For the St Monica Trust research is a win-win. We're dedicated to using evidence to improve what we do and sharing our expertise with others. Our Research and Intelligence team gather data from inside our own retirement communities and services as well as from the first-rate research work going on across the globe.
We are relying more than ever on up-to-date research findings and intelligence to ensure our decision-making can be as effective and appropriate as possible during these unprecedented times of COVID-19. The priorities for our research work now centre on relevant aspects and impacts of COVID-19 relating to our stakeholders, facilities and services, and will do so for the immediate future.
Head of Research and Intelligence
Rachael is passionate about enhancing well-being, positive and healthy ageing, and sharing evidence to enhance continuous improvement. Her enthusiasm for promoting health helped her win a Health Education Board of Scotland scholarship to complete her Masters in Health Promotion and Health Education at the University of Edinburgh.
At St Monica Trust she provides high level research, evaluation, consultation and management expertise. Her specialised areas include social research, outcome and impact evaluation, research ethics and governance, user engagement, system and service design, assistive technologies, older people and dementia. She brings with her a broad range of experience having worked in senior research roles within university, health, housing, and local authority social care settings.
Coming from a background of data analysis in a healthcare setting, Claire is passionate about the power of information to improve people's day-to-day lives. Claire assists Rachael with the design and analysis of questionnaires, allowing us to get to the bottom of our resident and customer needs, and their reports inform the strategic decision making of the Trust. She’s also been involved in organising our Explore Forums, where residents in our retirement communities are able to give direct feedback on their experiences, what could be improved upon and how.
We're delighted to collaborate with some top organisations on a wide variety of research projects, activities and funding proposals relating to the lives of older people. Recent collaborations include with the University of Bath, City University of London, University of Oxford, University of West England and the University of Bristol. Find out more about these projects using the slider.
University of Bath (2017-2020)
REtirement in ACTion (REACT) – a study to assess the effectiveness of a physical activity intervention designed to reduce mobility disability in older people, completed in May 2020.
City University of London (2019-20)
Collaboration with development work (including stakeholder participation) to broaden out the target user group for the SCAMPI quality of life tool to all older people and to augment its well-being and active ageing aspects.
University of Oxford (2020)
Exploring the potential of the Pathfinder project for social care settings.
University of West England (2018-19)
Collaboration on a multi-sector Connected and Autonomous Vehicles project called ‘FLOURISH. This investigated and tested issues in providing adequate services for older adults and cyber-security.
Bristol Robotics Lab, UWE (2018-2019)
Collaboration with the Bristol Robotics Lab and PhD Student & Software Engineer Zeek Steer.
University of Bristol (2018-2019)
This project with Bristol University explored the role of volunteers in a care settings for older people. Key findings include their range of involvement, level of contribution, the role of coordinators and the idea of an 'army' of volunteers.
Studio Meineck (2017-18)
The Musical Memory Box by Bristol-based design studio developed personalised musical memory boxes for a groups of our residents living with dementia.
Our Research team share our findings at a variety of events and conferences across the UK, including:
This new book was published by Routledge in 2019 and features stories of best practice across Europe. Co-written by our CEO David Williams and Head of Research and Intelligence Rachael Dutton, our chapter is 'Old Peoples Home for 4-Year-Olds: A Social Experiment looking at the Impact of the Contact on Health and Wellbeing.'
Available to download for free, our Guide to Intergenerational Activity is packed full of key information, inspiring success stories and top tips for your own projects.
This essay collection is part of the the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration's inquiry into intergenerational connection. Our chapter 'Islands of the Elderly: How Retirement Communities are Bridging Generational Divides' was co-written by our CEO David Williams and Maia Beresford, Policy & Comms Manager at ARCO.
St Monica Trust's response to the April 2020 Call for Evidence from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration Inquiry.
The next three years will see research expertise and activity continuing to fulfil a major role for the Trust. This will include a range of activities to further improve our understanding of our customers, organisation, what is going well and what could be improved.
If you’re interested in hearing more about research work at the St Monica Trust or want to touch base about possible partnerships contact Rachael Dutton, Head of Research and Intelligence on email@example.com.