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Spotlighting Homeless Women: Creating a new streamline service at Sutton Night Watch Charity to help women at risk of abuse    
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What is this project about?

This project aims to build on a prior Innovation Voucher award which catalysed Sutton Night Watch’s (SNW) ambitions to transform into a ‘360-degree’ charity hub. SNW have recently raised its profile and won a round of National Lottery funding to support the development of new recovery programmes. Its remit of support services includes addiction, mental health and precarity. Notwithstanding this, over 90% of its 140-member clientele is male. It is widely appreciated (see evidence report by Solace) that women experience additional vulnerabilities to violence and abuse through being homeless and that these are worsened by intersectional inequalities. This project aims to develop an additional arm of support through SNW, to explicitly target the needs of women at-risk, through a gender-informed approach to homelessness in SNW’s remit across Sutton.


The academic team at Roehampton will work with SNW to engage their female clientele in a safe, managed and progressive way using participatory research methods to understand their day-to-day live experiences. Additionally, the research team will work to map SNW’s local neighbourhood with the Directors, using ethnographic research methods, Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), and will foster partnerships between SNW and local shelters, the British Transport Police, and London Met South West BCU to build trust between these services. Through these exercises, we hope to build a better picture of the interactions between homelessness and violence and abuse against women and girls (VAWG), and create a protocol for local services to work together to respond to the needs of local women trapped in unique and oppressive cycles of precarity and abuse.


Sutton Night Watch Homeless Charity:

The longstanding Directors of Sutton Night Watch have built the organisations from the ground up over the last 5 years and have a visceral connection with the needs of their homeless and vulnerable clientele. They have also endured the transition through Covid-19 to create a resilient business model and they have first-hand understanding of the strengths and gaps in the services
they can currently offer.

Project Collaborators

Dr Andrea Perna (Life Sciences)

My main research interests are in the areas of self-organization in biological systems, collective animal behaviour and collective intelligence in group-living animals. I focus in particular on problems of coordination of collective motion in animal groups (such as flocking and schooling phenomena) and in the collective formation of spatial structures (e.g. nest building in social insects).

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Elizabet Kaitell (Education)

As a senior lecturer and PhD candidate, I am currently researching the values of infographics for undergraduate students from a holistic viewpoint. My interest in this topic is rooted in a desire to explore alternative and unconventional ways to help non-traditional students succeed in their academic pursuits while considering their “whole body selves”. In addition to infographics, I am also keenly interested in the role of the body and embodied ways of knowing in education. I engage with embodied methodologies and data collection methods to delve into these areas. 

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