Centre for Seldom Heard Voices

Centre for Seldom Heard Voices

The BU Research Centre for Seldom Heard Voices brings together academics from across different disciplines including social sciences and social work to engage with marginalised communities and to amplify often excluded or silenced voices. 

We have a strong track record of developing collaborative partnerships with communities and key stakeholders and for using participatory and co-created approaches. Our aim is to apply our research to real-world challenges to maximise societal impact. 

Our research includes collaborations with looked after children, youth in the developing world or conflict areas, rough sleepers, substance users, transgender youth and LGBT+ communities, stigmatised and threatened minorities, immigrants and trafficking victims, disabled children and adults, older people, carers, and many more. Impact includes contributions to child and adult social care practice, influencing policy, theoretical contributions to conflict resolution and community engagement and empowerment in the UK and globally including Kosovo, Albania, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Nepal and Rwanda. 

Read our blog post, 'Care at home in the time of covid'

Research themes

Featured research projects

A bowl of tomatoes held by two people


Taking place across Europe, this project explores how to reduce unemployment and obesity at the same time through supporting people to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Carer dropping off food parcel

Staying home, connecting care

This project investigates care and support provided to people in their homes during the pandemic. It focuses on home care workers, carers and volunteers and the role they played in sustaining others and keeping them well at home. 

Person picking up dumbells

Male users of anabolic androgenic steroids

Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) are increasingly used for their muscle-building and aesthetic effects. But they can have a detrimental impact on physical and emotional wellbeing, and little is known about the experiences of their users.

Pride flag

Pride in our Workforce

Working with the charity Energise Me, this project explored how the people working in physical activity, and their attitudes, affect the physical activity levels of LGBT+ people.

Front doors

Unlocking the Digital Front Door

Exploring practical ways to support people who might find it difficult to access virtual or remote health services and who might be affected by wider inequalities.

Financial scams

Financial scams

The National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSWPP) is working in partnership with government and trade bodies to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and to gain a greater understanding of the reasons why people are drawn into a scam. 


Community activism

Part of our role within the Centre for Seldom Heard Voices is to use our platform to amplify seldom heard voices. In collaboration with the BU PIER (Public Involvement in Education and Research) partnership, we engage with many community groups, organisations, activists and campaigners who are conducting some wonderful work to promote inclusion and advance social justice across our region and further afield. Our current spotlight is on the following:

Blog posts

Latest news

How to regenerate coastal communities

The UK Government’s levelling up agenda is an opportunity to revive the economic fortunes of some coastal regions in the UK, but decisions should be made locally and must involve residents and businesses for it to be a success.