Research in Action: The Wellspring Settlement
Capturing community aspirations during lockdown
Wellspring Settlement is a community anchor with the mission to reduce both the cause and effects of social isolation. In response to COVID-19, the Wellspring Settlement wanted to capture the impact of its support during lockdown on those using its services. The resulting research paper, produced in collaboration with students at the University of Bristol, indicated that the assistance provided by the Wellspring Settlement enabled the community to look beyond their immediate problems and begin to strive for a better future.
The research followed a series of surveys undertaken by staff at the Wellspring Settlement to help develop an understanding of the changing needs of the Lawrence Hill community during the lockdown period. One of the key themes identified by students in the resulting research was ‘re-imagining life post-lockdown’. This illustrated how, by the end of lockdown, community members had begun to think beyond simple material needs and express hopes and aspirations for the future, both personal and for a better society, rather than a return to normal. Read more .
The Wellspring Settlement
Wellspring Settlement is an independent charity and community anchor organisation formed in February 2020 through the merging of two community organisations, Wellspring Healthy Living Centre and Barton Hill Settlement. When the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown was announced in March 2020, the Wellspring Settlement became one of Bristol City Council’s community hubs – with a specific remit for the residents of Lawrence Hill area, one of the most deprived electoral wards in the UK.
The Bristol Model
The University's Professional Liaison Network launched its ‘Bristol Model’ in September 2020. The Wellspring Settlement project is one of many of those planned through the initiative. With £500k of funding from the Office for Students and Research England, the 'Bristol Model' aims to bring students into the social science research process as Research Assistants on projects co-produced with organisations in the city region to address complex social and economic challenges.
Read the final report, Wellspring Settlement COVID-19: Aspirations of a community (PDF, 763kB), and the three survey reports leading up to it.
Student research supports the Wellspring Settlement secure £98k to boost community renewal project
The students involved in the project were funded by the University's Temple Quarter Engagement Fund as part of a drive to nurture projects that foster collaboration between staff, students and city partners – in this instance embedding students in social science research co-produced with a range of external partners within the Bristol city region. If you are a student or a staff member at the University, find out how you can apply for funding.
The University of Bristol is one of three tenants in a new development at the Wellspring Settlement, with our newly opened micro-campus. Housed in three adjoining shipping containers, it is available to all University staff and students to support their collaborative work with partners and communities in East Bristol. Find out more.