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16 Dec 2022

‘Twelve stories of Christmas' – ARC research news from across 2022

Festive tree
As we come to the end of another eventful year, we’re looking back and highlighting the twelve most-read news stories from across 2022, one from each month.

We have achieved so much as a collaborative community over the last 12 months, and these stories are just a snapshot of that work.

You can read about more of our work on our latest news page.

January – alcohol harm

A new study led by ARC NENC members found that those already at risk of harm from heavy drinking bought much more alcohol during Covid-19 lockdowns.

New study shows that those already at risk of harm from heavy drinking bought much more alcohol during Covid-19 lockdowns. – ARC (

February – air pollution near schools

Work led by members of our Supporting Children and Families theme highlighted an urgent need to protect children from air pollution.

‘Children pay a huge price due to pollution’ – study into air quality near schools highlights urgent need for action – ARC (

March – welcoming our new Practice Fellows

We created opportunities for 16 new Practice Fellows from a wide range of health and social care backgrounds, to work with us on a part-time basis. The Fellows are now integrated into the ARC and developing research directly linked to priorities in their own fields of work.

Sixteen new Practice Fellows are to join the ARC North East and North Cumbria – ARC (

April – Virtual College training hub

We launched our new Virtual College training hub, which offers a one-stop-shop for career development and training opportunities across a wide range of areas linked to health and social care research.

Introducing our new Virtual College Training Hub – ARC (

May – supporting infant mental health

A project supported by our Open Funding Competition will develop a tool to support commissioning of specialised parent-infant teams in our region and beyond, meaning that more families can get access to the mental health support they need.

We need more specialist parent-infant relationship teams, to build better mental health for babies and their parents – ARC (

June – health care for LGBTQIA+ people who experience disadvantage

Issues around LGBTQIA+ visibility within, and equal access to, health and social care services is at the heart of an ARC NENC new study.

How could we improve care for LGBTQIA+ people who experience disadvantage, in our region? – ARC (

July – mental health and Covid-19

Work led by Applied Research Collaborations in the North of England found that a ‘parallel pandemic’ of mental ill health hit the area at the same time as the COVID-19 pandemic.

North of England experiences a ‘parallel pandemic’ of mental ill health alongside Covid-19 – ARC (

August – planning policy and public health

A project funded by our Open Funding Competition evaluated the impact of the use of planning policy to create a blanket ban on new fast food outlets in Gateshead, to promote a healthier food environment.

Putting the brakes on fast food – evaluating the use of planning policy to support public health – ARC (

September – persistent pain

A new Artificial Intelligence (AI) project underway at Teesside University, supported by the ARC NENC, could help millions of people to manage their persistent pain.

Technology could offer new support for people living with persistent pain – ARC (

October – food poverty

Research supported by our Open Funding Competition explored the challenges facing local foodbanks. The findings were illustrated in an impactful short film which captures the experiences of providers trying to deliver food aid services whilst facing increasing demand for their services, a decline in food donations, and rising running costs.

Exploring hyper-local factors driving food insecurity, and the challenges facing foodbanks – ARC (

November – end of life welfare support

A national conference supported by ARC NENC, and linked to an ARC-funded project, explored the financial and welfare challenges that can face people at the end of life.

Cost of Dying conference explores how to support social welfare needs at the end of life – ARC (

December – young people’s mental health

ARC NENC researchers co-developed new mental health resources to support children and young people who experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The resources were launched by the UK Trauma Council in December. They include training videos for professionals who work with children and young people, and animations aimed at young people.

New resources to support young people with PTSD – ARC (

We would like to thank you for your ongoing support, and take this opportunity to wish you a safe, healthy, peaceful and restorative Christmas, and a Happy New Year.