Llamau Wins Cardiff University Social Innovation Award

19 June 2015

Llamau is celebrating after receiving the “Social Innovation” Award at the Cardiff University Innovation and Impact Awards 2015.

The joint work between researchers at Cardiff University and Llamau has helped Llamau develop new mental health screening tools which can be used in their work with young homeless people. The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 17th June at the University.

The research team identified extremely high levels of previously undiagnosed and emerging mental health issues amongst vulnerable young homeless people in Wales, which were having devastating impacts on their lives and their ability to live independently. A study showed that 73% of those interviewed met the criteria for two or more current psychiatric disorders compared with 12.4% of the same age in the general population.

KTP Associate Dr Kate Hodgson, who worked at the heart of Llamau and who managed the ground-breaking project, said: "The KTP offered me a unique experience: being able to conduct my PhD research whilst working closely with Llamau staff to embed the findings from the project across the organisation.

Professor van den Bree said, "We developed a tool to establish the mental health needs of these vulnerable young people. Our study was unique because we followed participants over three years, enabling us to establish how mental health problems and risk of self-harm changed over time.

Dr Hodgson added, "We worked closely with Llamau staff to ensure our findings were translated across the organisation."

Dr Katherine Shelton said, "We are delighted that our work has been recognised by this award. Working with Llamau enabled us to translate our research findings into organisational change and has made a positive difference to the work of the charity."

Sam Austin, Operational Director & Deputy Chief Executive at Llamau, said: "The Award for Social Innovation is really well deserved by all the researchers involved. Working with Cardiff University's researchers has helped us develop new ways of working which are resulting in real changes to the lives of the very vulnerable young people we work with. We are delighted to have been able to build such a strong and positive working relationship with the School of Psychology and Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, and we are planning ways to continue to work together in future."

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‘ Quality support by dedicated support workers for young people who are both vulnerable and challenging.’
Children’s Services
‘ Llamau’s work has been identified as a ‘model of good practice’’
Cardiff University Housing MSc research project, entitled ‘Social Inclusion: Myth or Reality’