The South East Coastal Communities Projects

The Sussex projects represent a wide range of activities and innovative approaches to improving the health and wellbeing of local socially disadvantaged and excluded communities through developing university-community partnerships.

If you are interested in finding out more information, please contact

Our Space

Exploring spaces to bring deaf and hard of hearing people together

Convenor: John Walker, University of Sussex

This project undertook research and developed new virtual and physical ‘spaces’ for and with deaf and hard of hearing people. In partnership with the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, the NHS Primary Care Trust, experts in community therapy and deaf service providers and advocates, it promoted a range of preventive solutions towards health.

Follow the link below to the projects and research section of the Deaf Studies website that includes the SECC projects: Deaf Studies Website.

The Sussex Deaf History Website, which was launched in March 2010 as part of the Coastal Communities programme, contains information about the Our Space and various community events: Sussex Deaf History Website.


Activity Buddies

Promoting quality of life for older people together

Convenor: Ann Moore, University of Brighton

The Universities of Brighton and Sussex, together with Age Concern, WRVS, Help the Aged and community forums aimed to tackle the unmet health and wellbeing needs of older people living in deprived areas of Brighton & Hove, Eastbourne and Hastings. It provided an opportunity for students from many different disciplines to ‘buddy’ with older people to engage in activities ranging from fitness and mobility, to foot care, managing medication and developing IT skills.

For more information visit the Activity Buddies Website.


Bouncing Back

Building resilience with disadvantaged children and young people

Convenor: Kim Aumann, Amaze Research and Training, Brighton

Students, academics from the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, practitioners from both the voluntary and statutory sectors and parents developed innovative ways of building resilience to help children ‘bounce back’ when life is particularly tough. Building on ideas of Resilient Therapy™ (RT), they developed and applied new ways of working with disadvantaged children. RT offers a coherent framework for finding the best ways of helping children and families build up their resilience to very difficult circumstances.

For more information visit the Boing Boing website.

Follow the link to view the film about the Resilient Therapy Community of Practice, Hastings


Count Me In Too

Promoting health and well-being with LGBT communities

Convenor: Kath Browne, University of Brighton

Count Me In Too is an award-winning research project where lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people shared their views and experiences, and worked with service providers and others to gather and present evidence that would promote positive changes for LGBT people. The project research team facilitated the project and was lead by researchers from the Universities of Brighton/Sussex, Spectrum and LGBT research activists.

For more information visit the CMIT Website.



Convenor: Rod Paton, University of Chichester

What does it feel like to sit in a room with a dozen other people and make music together? What are the health and social benefits of this kind of activity? How can it be facilitated, instantly, with people who may have no previous musical training? How can it also benefit those who do but have never played without notation? In the twentieth century, we are all musical consumers, but very few of us are creators.

The LifeMusic Method employed participatory music to enhance wellbeing, to develop harmonious relationships and to deepen people’s understanding of themselves and each other. No specialist musical training was required to be a participant. The work was based upon improvisation with instant access instruments (mainly percussion and voice) facilitated by trained practitioners.

LifeMusic developed a training programme and delivered a wide range of courses and workshops. In the Spring of 2009, a community-university partnership organisation called Artbeat was launched both as a delivery platform for the projects, a research hub for future developments and a development agency to promote greater understanding of the value of community music.

For more information visit the University of Chichester Website.


Older People as Researchers

Convenor: Heather Clark, University of Chichester

Training Older People As Researchers, led by the University of Chichester, built on a history of research on older people and the local community. Working with community and voluntary organisations to recruit and train older people as peer researchers, the project offered opportunities for older people to access a higher education environment and to provide high quality and relevant research to support the development and commissioning of services that meet the needs of older people. An example of one such project was research into the experiences and feelings of patients before, during and after their discharge from hospital.

For more information visit the University of Chichester Website.


This site is jointly updated by: the University of Sussex, the University of Chichester and the University of Brighton.

Webmaster: Community University Partnership Programme, University of Brighton.