Within the UK there are a whole group of people who live in social deprivation. These individuals are often born and live out their lives in conditions of extreme poverty. Sometimes it’s convenient to think of these individuals in terms only of social problems, for example teenage parenthood, drugs, crime, sex work, obesity and alcoholism. Their lives are a million miles away from the cosy café culture of Primrose Hill or Richmond; a culture that we in research often frequent and enjoy.
Yet those who are socially disadvantaged are a very important segment of society. They matter because if we want a better world, one with a closer equilibrium between all groups and fewer of these social problems, then we need to understand the lives of those who are constantly surrounded by barriers that limit their potential.
We are often referred to as the ‘Ross Kemp’ of the research world. We are experts in hard to reach audiences and have run research with audience such as teenage mums, drug dealers, heroin users, families on estates, teenage gangs, domestic abusers, prisoners, crack cocaine addicts, travellers, homeless, Eastern European workers, sex workers, people with disabilities, teenagers who have been bullied and sexually abused children.