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The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) - A collaborative approach to growing impact

About CHAD’s research

The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) is an innovative collaboration with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council to improve health and help to reduce health and social inequalities in our local population.

Connecting with local communities is at the heart of CHAD. We work with partners to achieve and evidence change through our research and public engagement activities.

Our work is focused on four thematic areas: healthy communities and place, healthy living, health inclusion, and healthy start.
Further information about the centre and its activities can be found at the Centre for Health and Development website.


Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council with Staffordshire University provided funding to establish CHAD and enable a response to local priorities in health inequality. We do this through an extensive network of individuals and organisations (academic, public and third sector) and engage directly with local communities.

Making a difference 

Our collaboration and community focus have made an impact across a range of areas. For example:

  • Working with VOICES of Stoke-on-Trent we inform local debate about perceived city centre homelessness and anti-social behaviour with solutions that recognise the needs of the multiple stakeholders.
  • The Stoke-on-Trent Breastfeeding Steering Group has committed to address the recommendations of our research with the potential to increase breastfeeding initiation in the city.
  • We have undertaken research and evaluation to inform practice across a range of areas, such as physical activity interventions for cancer survivors, physical and cognitive training to reduce vascular dementia risk, and understanding health professionals’ views of end of life care.
  • Our research around NHS Health Check is feeding into the national evidence base to shape programme development (e.g., HEalth Check TRial (HECTR) study; RIsk COmmunication in NHS Health Check (RICO) study).

Knowledge sharing is central to our work and we run a programme of seminars, workshops and conferences to share our research findings, and work closely with the Staffordshire University civic engagement colleagues. Together we held a successful ‘Big Community Conversation’ event attended by over 200 local people to tell their stories about community and making a difference.

Key Publications

Massie, R., Machin, R., McCormack, F. & Kurth, J. Having a voice: a collaborative research project exploring the challenges and assets of people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Integrated Care. 2019, 26(4): 342-352.

Gidlow, Christopher J, Elise van Kempen, Graham R Smith, Margarita Triguero-Mas, Hanneke Kruize, Regina Gražulevičienė, Naomi J Ellis, et al. Development of the Natural Environment Scoring Tool (NEST). Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 2018, 29: 322–33.

Gidlow, Christopher J, Naomi J Ellis, Victoria Riley, Tim Chadborn, Amanda Bunten, Zafar Iqbal, Aliko Ahmed, Alistair Fisher, David Sugden, and David Clark-Carter. Randomised Controlled Trial Comparing Uptake of NHS Health Check in Response to Standard Letters, Risk-Personalised Letters and Telephone Invitations. BMC Public Health 2019, 19 (1): 224.