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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Spotlight on: MICRA PhD Student Natalie Cotterell

14 December 2017

In September 2017, MICRA welcomed Natalie Cotterell who started a PhD with us on Growing old in the city: tackling social isolation in later life. Natalie is funded by Humanities Strategic Investment Fund, The University of Manchester and Case Partners, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) and Manchester City Council.

Natalie gained an MSc at UoM in Health Psychology with Distinction, winning two cohort awards ‘Best Dissertation Thesis’ and ‘Highest Overall Grade Point Average’ at her graduation ceremony this week. All at MICRA are thrilled for Natalie!

Natalie’s PhD (supervised by Kingsley Purdam, Tine Buffel and Chris Phillipson) aims to advance knowledge and help develop policy recommendations to reduce social isolation among older people living in deprived urban environments. The study examines what kind of ways older people themselves could be involved in the co-production of policy and practice responses aimed at tackling social isolation. It will involve the recruitment and training of older people as co-researchers who will help to assess the impact of social isolation on older people across different areas of Manchester, namely areas with high levels of social deprivation.

Natalie is a member of the Manchester Urban Ageing Research Group (MUARG) and organises their lunchtime seminars. MUARG supports the promotion of age-friendly environments at global, EU, national and local level with a particular focus on understanding issues relating to social exclusion and pressures facing older people in areas subject to economic decline.

Natalie’s PhD will also look at the benefits and limitations of neighbourhood-based projects designed to tackle social isolation and the benefits of such work for local authorities, NGOs and private sector service providers concerned with addressing social isolation in old age.

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