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Archbishop of Canterbury opens new research centre

05 April 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, has officially opened the institution's latest research centre.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams (centre) with the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robin Baker (centre-left), Professor Trisha Maynard (centre-right), Director of the Centre and members of the research centre.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams (centre) with the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robin Baker (centre-left), Professor Trisha Maynard (centre-right), Director of the Centre and members of the research centre.

The Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities will undertake work that aims to enhance the lives and life chances of children and young people, their families and communities, both in the UK and abroad.

On opening the centre, the Archbishop said: “I feel so very honoured and pleased to be able to launch the work of this research centre. Issues around children and families have for many years been part of my own central concern and it is a great inspiration to see this University putting these concerns at heart of their own priorities.

“It has always been a great delight to be associated with Canterbury Christ Church and I am very proud of my connection. However, the work and agenda of this the centre makes me prouder than ever to be this University’s Chancellor.”

Built on the growing success of research activity in the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care and the Faculty of Education, the centre’s work will focus on three inter-related themes: Being (having a ‘good’ life); Belonging (having a ‘fair’ life) and Becoming (building stronger families and communities). The centre will also explore creative and innovative research methods to help give a voice to those social groups who are often ‘silent’ or ‘silenced’, such as children and the homeless.

Professor Trisha Maynard, Director of the Centre, said: “We recognise that there is a web of poverty and disadvantage that can entrap children, their families and communities. We need to find ways of helping them to break free from the cycle of deprivation. This is particularly challenging at a time of recession – as the government often reminds us, we need to find ways of ‘doing more for less’. The need for high quality, multi-disciplinary and participatory research has therefore never been greater.”

Professor Trisha Maynard, Director of the Centre
Professor Trisha Maynard, Director of the Centre

The official launch took place at Canterbury Christ Church University’s North Holmes Road Campus on Friday, 1 April. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robin Baker CMG, welcomed the Archbishop and guests to the University, commenting: “The work of the centre is of course a very topical subject, and always has been. Under the guidance of Professor Trisha Maynard, who is a most eminent leader, the role that this centre will play in the development of policy, innovation and initiative we believe will be very significant.

“Canterbury Christ Church University is extremely well placed to offer this type of research. The centre is a interdisciplinary between the Faculty of Health and Social Care and the Faculty of Education. Our work through the Faculty of Health and Social Care in terms of Nursing and Allied Health Professional studies is the largest in South East England; and our work in education is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

“It not only makes sense for this University to be hosting such a research centre, but to specifically knit together the wonderful work of these two faculties makes this a very potent combination.”

Areas of research activity include the promotion of child health and well being, play, families and parenting, migrant families, children as young carers, young people and alcohol, child sexual abuse, street children and homeless people.

If media would like to speak with Professor Trisha Maynard, please contact Jeanette Earl, Media Relations Officer, Canterbury Christ Church University, on 01227 782391.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 18,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.

  • In 2010 the Faculty of Education received top grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record of having been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
  • Over 90 per cent of our graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating.
  • Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
  • Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college.

For media enquiries:

Jeanette Earl
01227 782391