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Research Officer, Swansea University

I am a research officer at Swansea University’s Medical School. My main research areas include the health and wellbeing of young people, in particular physical activity. As well as this, I manage HAPPEN Wales, a national network aimed at improving the health, wellbeing and education outcomes of primary school children across Wales. My research involves advocating for the wants and needs of young people in their local communities to improve physical activity using citizen science, self-report surveys and data linkage. Promoting physical activity has been a big priority for me from my role as mentor to young people not in education, employment or training with three premiership rugby clubs (Warriors, Bath and the Scarlets) to being a fitness instructor and part of the NERS programme.

I completed my PhD in December 2020 which explored how a multi-component intervention (including activity vouchers, peer mentoring and support work engagement) impacts the fitness, physical activity, heart health and motivation of teenagers (aged 13-14) in Wales. The ACTIVE Project highlighted that, although short-term interventions can be beneficial in improving activity, teenagers need better access to unstructured, social and fun activities in their local communities.

Experience

  • –present
    Research officer, 2016

Education

  • 2020 
    Swansea University, PhD

Publications

  • 2021
    Factors influencing wellbeing in young people during COVID-19: A survey with 6291 young people in Wales, PLOS One
  • 2021
    Impact of school closures on the health and well-being of primary school children in Wales UK: a routine data linkage study using the HAPPEN Survey (2018-2020), BMJ Open
  • 2021
    Primary school staff perspectives of school closures due to COVID-19, experiences of schools reopening and recommendations for the future: a qualitative survey in Wales, PLOS One
  • 2020
    How does the built environment affect teenagers (aged 13–14) physical activity and fitness? A cross-sectional analysis of the ACTIVE Project, PLOS One
  • 2019
    Predictors of cardiovascular health in teenagers (aged 13–14 years): a cross-sectional study linked with routine data , BMJ Open
  • 2019
    Active Children Through Individual Vouchers Evaluation: A Mixed-Method RCT, American Journal of Preventative Medicine
  • 2018
    What works best when implementing a physical activity intervention for teenagers? Reflections from the ACTIVE Project: a qualitative study, BMJ Open
  • 2018
    Teenage recommendations to improve physical activity for their age group: a qualitative study, BMC Public Health
  • 2017
    Active children through individual vouchers – evaluation (ACTIVE): protocol for a mixed method randomised control trial to increase physical activity levels in teenagers, BMC Public Health