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We are an innovative multi-agency collaboration of top social researchers and professionals, with a strong shared value base around equality and inclusion. Between us we cover a huge number of areas of expertise: from housing to criminal justice; from the environment to attachment theory.


Individually and collectively, we have an impressive track record of consultancy, training, research and development projects and strong links to public and not-for-profit organisations, policy makers and real world communities.


This means that we:

  • Straddle traditional service and policy boundaries, bringing fresh insights and learning from elsewhere;

  • Link research, policy and practice; and

  • Are extremely agile and creative in the support we offer you. 


Meet The Team

Imogen Blood

Founder and Director

Imogen set up Imogen Blood & Associates in 2009.


She began her career in frontline supported housing and prison drug work and is a qualified social worker. She then moved into research and has seventeen years’ experience of designing, conducting and managing research studies and evaluations. She has held research posts at Bury MBC Housing, Housing Projects Advisory Service, NACRO and the University of Salford, where she set up the Making Research Count initiative to promote research into practice in partnership with the Greater Manchester authorities.


Between 2005 and 2009, Imogen was Senior Consultant for Equality Works (now EW Group) – a consultancy working to promote equality and diversity through training, consultancy and research. She co-directed the Manchester office and was responsible for designing and delivering equality projects in the NHS, local authorities, for central government, housing associations, regional development agencies and charities. She continues to work as a Consultant Partner for EW Group and is an assessor for the Institute of Leadership & Management on Strategic Leadership and Managing Equality & Diversity in organisations. 


Imogen has over thirty publications (including research reports, articles, practice guides, summaries and a book), most of which explore service provision for older people, covering housing with care, sheltered housing, older homelessness, older people with high support needs, the role of the private rented sector, older women and domestic violence, building social capital, and housing advice. Her book (Blood, I (2013) A Better Life: Valuing our Later Years, Joseph Rowntree Foundation) offers a blueprint for a positive ageing society, told through the stories of older people.


Her other interests include: supporting housing (in 2015/16 she was part of a consortium conducting an evidence review of the sector for the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Communities & Local Government); disability and sight loss; community safety; substance use; domestic violence; and arts and culture.


She is a regular contributor to national and international conferences. In recent years, this has included: CECODHAS Housing Europe in Brussels, Social Services Expo in Edinburgh (commissioned by IRISS), Placeshapers, the National Care Forum, the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, and the Housing Learning & Improvement Network’s Extra Care Housing Annual Conference. She is part of a panel of European experts assessing and reviewing transnational research and development projects for the EU Ambient Assisted Living programme, which promotes the use of cutting edge technology to enhance independence for older people. She is an Associate of Research in Practice for Adults.


Imogen lives in Manchester and is chair of the Board of Trustees of The Men’s Room – a Manchester-based arts and social care charity which empowers with the city’s most marginalised young men. 

Internal Research & Support Team

Shelly Dulson

Programme Manager

Shani Wardle

Research Assistant

Chloë Hands

Business Support



Business Support

Our Associates

Jenny Pannell

is an independent researcher with extensive publications and consultancy experience in housing, support and care. She is passionate about improving housing, care and support services for older people and for people with disabilities; and is especially interested in resident perspectives.  

Anita Birchall

moved into the homelessness and support sector after a career in mental health nursing.  She has twenty years’ experience of managing supported housing and floating support.  For the last ten years she has focused person-centred services and has designed and managed a number of Housing First (HF) services including the award-winning HF for women at Threshold in East Manchester for 5 years.  She now provides operational advice and mentoring to organisations wishing to redesign their services or start new ones. She has worked with Imogen on a number of HF projects.

Lizzie Peters

is a consultant with a particular expertise in multi-agency working and organisational change. A specialist in the Criminal Justice Service and holding the strategic lead for partnerships for the Metropolitan Police Service and developed partnership policy and a best practice toolkit for Victim Support.

Sarah Chalmers-Page

has twelve years’ experience in a range of settings within the NHS, including PCTs, strategic health authorities and hospital trusts. She has degrees in Psychology, Health Care Management and Health Care Economics. Specialising in quantitative analysis and modelling.


Dianne Theakstone

comes from a research background that focused on co-production methodology with disabled people and exploring how to improve disabled peoples’ access to independent living. Having just finished a PhD in Applied Social Sciences at the University of Stirling, she currently balances research on the 'Match Me' project (what works for effective allocations of adapted/accessible social housing) with work as a Service User Experiences Research Officer for the SDSS (Self-Directed Support Scotland). 

Lorna Easterbrook

is a highly experienced and accomplished qualitative researcher, policy analyst, writer, speaker, and trainer. She is adept at translating policy and people’s views into practice, including the setting up of services.


Lyndsay McAteer

 has extensive experience of working on research projects and evaluations. Her key expertise is in qualitative interviewing; group facilitation; research analysis; and literature reviews. Lyndsay works with 'hard to reach' groups, including ex-offenders; people with a history of substance misuse; and people who are accessing mental health support services. 


Lydia Fransham

is a trainer, facilitator and supervisor working in criminal justice, mental health and social work settings, specialising in attachment theory, strength-based practice, sexual offending, and domestic abuse. Lydia has been described as “an innovative, sophisticated and above all practical resource for the next generation of strengths-based offender rehabilitation practice”. 

Paul Connery

has worked in the voluntary sector for over 13 years both managing a front-line homeless service and as a key strategic lead for homelessness across North West England, influencing service improvement and innovation alongside system and culture change to prevent and tackle homelessness. 

Karen Kime

recently retired from Stockport Council as a Strategy and Performance Manager. For nearly 30 years, Karen has mainly worked in adult social care in a number of roles including Community Development Worker, Best Value Officer and Project Manager. 

Sophie Grinnell

is a Health Inequalities Researcher, primarily as Project Lead on a unique Health Inequalities Capacity Building Project.  The project's aim is to support decision-makers in amending their policies and strategies in order to reduce health inequalities and improve health.

Toni Slater

is a communications professional with nearly 20 years’ experience working in magazine editorial and production, medical education, charity comms, marketing and PR. She is passionate about delivering content, online or in print, that informs, inspires and supports its strategic goal.


Mark Goldup

is a skilled data analyst specialising in housing, care and support. He has a long history of developing models for undertaking needs assessments and developed a generic methodology that was used by around a third of local authorities under the old Supporting People regime. 

Mark Robinson

founded Thinking Practice in 2010 since then he has worked with more than 60 organisations in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada. He was previously the Executive Director of Arts Council England, North East. He has published in academic journals on community arts, literature and well-being.

Steve Milton

has worked in social care since 1987 as a researcher, writer, trainer, and service manager.  He has worked in the dementia field since 1995.  In 1996 he set up the Alzheimer’s Society Helpline, which he ran until 2002. Steve leads the work stream on Dementia Friendly Communities and disability rights for Innovations in Dementia.

Our Clients and Partners



Housing & support Partnership
Innovations in Dementia

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