The much anticipated launch of Cyfiawnder: The Social Inclusion Research Institute (SIRI) took place on 19th January, 2023. The launch had an excellent turnout from WGU staff, students, and community stakeholders across North wales, including health, housing, probation, police and Welsh Government.

Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice Chancellor of WGU welcomed everyone to the launch event, shortly followed by Professor Richard Day, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research who outlined the University’s research strengths in engineering, social work/policy, and criminology.

Next, Dr Simon Stewart, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Life Sciences spoke of the importance of Cyfiawnder, saying: "Our hope is that Cyfiawnder fosters a multi-sector approach, accelerating partnerships."

Dr Caroline Hughes, Associate Dean for Student Engagement also revealed that Adam Skinner was the winner of the logo competition! Adam designed a black text logo on white background with a multiple chain link box effect. The interlocking element of the logo was felt to perfectly capture the network of relationships that Cyfiawnder was keen to support; whilst the overall design was felt to appropriately reflect the Institute’s Welsh roots.

Over the remainder of the day, attendees heard from Professors Iolo Madoc-Jones and Wulf Livingston, two of the Institute’s Co-directors, alongside academics and PGR students in Public Health, Youth and Community, Social Work, and Criminology.

Members gave an overview of several key research projects undertaken by Cyfiawnder including housing and homelessness of adults in the secure estate, developing green infrastructure, minimum unit pricing for alcohol in Wales, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and trauma-informed culture, and social justice in higher education. Postgraduate researchers also presented their research topics on residential interventions for harmful sexual behaviour (Kevin Gallagher), women’s experiences in the criminal justice system (Andrea Cooper), and women’s experience of relationship stalking (Helena Barlow). 

Andrea is hoping to recruit women who have offended or people who have worked with women to take part in her research (a one hour interview). If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Andrea Cooper at

Following the launch of the Navigating the Storm concept video last year, Dr Tegan Brierley-Sollis presented findings relating to her PhD research on trauma-informed culture and played the powerful video on understanding trauma to the attendees: 

Overall, the day was a huge success with networking during the lunch break and valuable connections made across and outside the Institute. Reflecting on the day, Professor Iolo Madoc-Jones said, ”I was very pleased with how many people gave up their time to attend and the messages of support and encouragement we received during the day. There is clearly quite a bit of support for an institute like this which we hope can drive the social justice and inclusion agenda forward in North east wales and beyond”.

The launch event highlighted past, current, and future research ambitions of the Institute staff as well as reinforce the aspirations to establish further academic and community research partnerships.