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Dr Alison Penn

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Staff Tutor
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Social Policy & Criminology
  • a.penn

Professional biography

Staff Tutor and Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Associate Lecturer,  Social Policy (DD208 'Welfare, Crime and Society' )and Sociology (DD308 'Making Social Worlds') in the South East Region

Previous Modules taught:  D211, D218, DD131, DD206, D861, D820, D860, D862 D864, D867 

My background is the voluntary and community sector, specifically disability and community development.  Following this I have 20 years experience of delivering consultancy, research and training for both the statutory and voluntary sectors and specialising in health, social care and community development. This has encompassed the design and management of research; policy development; training and facilitation to disseminate organisational learning.

Facilitation, Training and Assessment in the voluntary and community sector:-

       Asssessor, The King's Fund [Community Health IMPACT Award scheme]
       Associate, Charities Evaluation Services

Former Research Fellow, Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton

Research interests

Social History of Voluntary Action and Charities
Applied Social Research
Qualitative research
Evaluation research

Academic:   Women's voluntary action around poverty and public health

Post-doctoral research into voluntary action and the development of maternal welfare

Teaching interests

Social Policy, Social History, Welfare State, Charity, Voluntary and Community Sectors, Social Housing

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
OU Public Health and Health Promotion Research GroupResearch GroupFaculty of Health and Social Care


From the Rescue of Fallen Women to the Support of Vulnerable Families: The History of St Michael’s Fellowship, 1903-2003 (2005-10)
Penn, Alison
ISBN : 955113202 | Publisher : St Michael's Fellowship | Published : London
Social history and organizational development: revisiting Beveridge’s Voluntary Action (2011-03)
Penn, Alison
In: Rochester, Colin; Gosling, George Campbell; Penn, Alison and Zimmeck, Meta eds. Understanding Roots of Voluntary Action: Historical Perspectives on Current Social Policy (pp. 17-29)
ISBN : 978-1-84519-424-6 | Publisher : Sussex Academic Press
Reflections on an evaluation of partnerships to cope with winter pressures (2005-01)
Balloch, Susan; Penn, Alison and Charnley, Helen
In: Balloch, Susan and Taylor, David eds. The Politics of Evaluation: Participation and Policy Implementation (pp. 153-174)
ISBN : 9781861346063 | Publisher : Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Understanding the Roots of Voluntary Action: Historical Perspectives on Current Social Policy (2011-03)
Rochester, Colin; Gosling, George; Penn, Alison and Zimmeck, Meta eds.
ISBN : 978-1-84519-424-6 | Publisher : Sussex Academic Press | Published : Brighton, UK
Every voice counts: community empowerment research project (2008)
Simpson, J.; Penn, A.; Farenden, C. and Johnston, R.
Community Development South East
A carers service in East Sussex (2006)
Balloch, S.; Fyvie Gauld, M.; Kocher, P. and Penn, A.
Health and Social Policy Research Centre, University of Brighton
Evaluation of the Altogether Programme (2004)
Lawless, S. and Penn, A.
Evaluation of three homeless projects in West Sussex (2003)
Penn, Alison
An evaluation toolkit for use in the NHS (2003)
Penn, A. and Balloch, S.