Last month colleagues from Coventry City Council, Coventry University and University of Warwick met to discuss opportunities around research collaboration to tackle the building blocks of health.

With 80 registered attendees, the event held at Coventry University facilitated many discussions around determinants of health such as digital inclusion, housing, transportation, economic development and more.

“…the event was full of energy, it was great to see the three organisations coming together for the health of the city” University Attendee.

#CovConnects, the Coventry HDRC, and the Economic Development Service each gave presentations that enabled attendees to gain a greater understanding of current council activities and how research collaboration could be integrated into existing services.

We know digital exclusion can impact people's health directly, such as accessing online health information, booking appointments and ordering prescriptions. However, we are keen to explore how digital inclusion can provide better access to housing, education and job opportunities, as excluding this access can also impact an individuals health. As an early programme, it's important we monitor and evaluate the impact of #CovConnects activity and utilise expertise from our university partners to help strengthen this activity.

Narinder Parmar, a Digital Inclusion Coordinator in the #CovConnects Team said “The HDRC team gave us some valuable feedback on the Adaptive Fund applications submitted by partners. They further supplemented this support by providing us with an evaluation framework which we will be using to measure the effectiveness of digital technologies our partners are using to combat loneliness and isolation in older adults as part of the WMCA Adaptive Fund.”

John Wilcox, Head of the Coventry Health Determinants Research Collaboration said: “The mixer event was a great way to get the conversations going between academic and council colleagues and I look forward to continuing to work together to help develop research impact through the HDRC.

David Hope, Business Development Manager in the Economic Development Service said: “A number of research ideas came out of the discussion I was in that will be of interest to services across the Council – some ideas will help us build on the work my Service has started doing around communities and tackling inequalities through enterprise, but the workshop also identified additional themes around tackling inequalities and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth that the Service will be keen to explore further.” 

#CovConnects aims to support residents on their digital journeys, working in partnership with organisations both locally and nationally, improving access for all. If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch with the #CovConnects Team at

If you’re interested in finding out more about the HDRC, contact the team at

Published: Monday, 8th April 2024