College of Social Sciences
CHASM Summer e-Bulletin 2021
Welcome to the CHASM e-bulletin, bringing together all the latest news and events from the Centre over the last four months.

Let us know what you think via twitter, email or find out more about the work that we do on the CHASM website.
Louise Overton
e-Bulletin Round-up
From CHASM Director Louise Overton
Welcome to our Summer 2021 e-Bulletin. After a relatively quiet year (our last Bulletin was issued in Spring 2020) it’s been a busy few months, and we’re delighted to be bringing you news of all our recent research activities and events.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in February 2020, unemployment, poverty and debt have all increased significantly and look set to rise still further, while a significant minority of the population have seen their savings increase. At a time when households face acute financial strain, both in the UK and globally, CHASM’s work has never been more important.

With new core members from Birmingham Business School and the School of Social Policy (see below), both our capacity and expertise are expanding to help us understand and tackle the financial risks and insecurities facing growing numbers of people. Our commitment to rigorous, policy-relevant research to help improve financial wellbeing has never been greater, and we are very grateful to Andrew Fisher, whose generous funding and support continues to make this possible.

We hope you enjoy reading about our activities and very much look forward to seeing you – in person and online – at our upcoming events.

Best wishes,
CHASM Open House event
On 21 June, CHASM held an ‘Open House’ event to share fascinating current research and for the audience to contribute their thoughts and ideas to the Centre’s future plans and strategic direction.
Read more »
The Ben Pattison Memorial PhD Prize
CHASM is announcing the first of its annual Ben Pattison Memorial Prize competitions. The prize is named after Dr Ben Pattison, who sadly passed away at the age of 40 in March 2020. Ben was an exceptional ESRC funded CHASM Doctoral Researcher at the University of Birmingham from 2012-2015.
Read more »
CHASM welcomes new Centre Manager
CHASM have appointed a new Centre Manager, Davina Weston. Davina will have responsibility for overseeing the delivery of all research activities as well as undertaking the day to day running of the Centre. Read Louise Overton’s comments on CHASM’s new Centre Manager.
Read more »
Thank you to CHASM Advisory Board members
We would like to say thank you and goodbye to Sir Brian Pomeroy, Jane Vass and Jonathan Drifill for their commitment to CHASM – and all their thoughtful input and help over the years. The Centre could not have achieved all it has without their support and guidance. Brian, Jane and Jonathan’s term on the Advisory Board came to an end this summer, but we very much hope we’ll be able to count them as a friend of CHASM for many years to come.
Introducing new CHASM Research Fellow, Maxine Watkins
Maxine has recently joined the CHASM team as a Research Fellow to work on the Development of a decision support tool for older people who pay for social care, and their families project. Get to know more about Maxine here.
Read more »
Chris Smith reflects on his journey to becoming a CHASM Research Fellow
Chris is now conducting a qualitative research project with Louise Overton into the changing nature of pension decision making following the introduction of 'pension freedoms' in 2015. Find out about Chris’ journey to CHASM.
Read more »
Lorenza Antonucci researches issues faced by gig workers
GIGWELL is a research project exploring the link between labour market insecurity and the financial insecurity of gig workers. The research focusses on how the relationship between gig workers' work insecurity and their financial insecurity is mediated by social security systems in the UK, Italy and Sweden.
Read more »
Introducing Covid Realities
Covid Realities is an 21 month research collaboration between Child Poverty Action Group and the Universities of York and Birmingham. The project includes participatory work with parents and carers on a low-income; tracking of the social security system response via CPAG’s Early Warning System; and the synthesis of 14 existing and ongoing research projects across the UK.
Read more »
CHASM developing social care payment decision support tool
Louise Overton and Maxine Watkins, along with colleagues from York and Manchester Universities, are embarking on an exciting new research project to develop a prototype of a decision support tool to help older self-funders and their families make decisions about paying for social care. The NIHR School for Social Care Research is funding this two-year project.

The decision support tool aims to overcome people’s reluctance to seek professional financial guidance or advice by removing the fear of the unknown. It will facilitate people to think through their care options and personal preferences, and what different professionals can offer. The project involves consulting on the scope of the tool; developing and testing the tool to create a prototype, then working with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to test it in practice.
Did the furlough scheme and mortgage holidays prevent mortgage default?
Danny McGowan and Christoph Gortz are researching the impact of Covid-19 pandemic related financial schemes created by the UK government. Their research helps us to understand the effectiveness of the furlough and mortgage holiday policies, and provides guidance to tailor and optimize their future design.
Read more »
Pension decision-making in the new retirement landscape
The study, managed by Louise Overton and Chris Smith, aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the decisions people make about their defined contribution (DC) pensions.
Read more »
The Tenant’s Journey – Social housing and life-chances
CHASM conducted three years of research in partnership with East Devon District Council (EDDC) and LiveWest exploring the relationship between housing tenure, wellbeing and life-chances. Research showed that social housing actually has a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of social tenants that is often undervalued in policy terms. View the final research report and infographics here.
Read more »
Recent events
20th July
Workshop on the Economic Response to Covid-19.
Led by CHASM’s Christoph Görtz, Senior Lecturer in Macroeconomics and Danny McGowan, Professor of Finance. The event consisted of presentations of five research papers and a panel discussion by Professor Aditya Goenka, University of Birmingham, UK Government, ICJU and Dr Hande Küçük, Deputy Director NIESR.
Find out more »
12th July
Whose wealth? Assessing the full impact of the pandemic on household wealth.
Karen Rowlingson, Professor of Social Policy in CHASM, Ben Chu, Economics Editor of BBC Newsnight, Jack Leslie, Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation and Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation.
Find out more »
1st July
Buy now pay later financial products: a new generation of consumer credit?
Julia Cook and Kate Davies, University of Newcastle, Australia.
Find out more »
24th June
Inform, empower, engage: Creating a ‘Charter of Rights’ with residents of supported exempt accommodation in Birmingham.
Thea Raisbeck (Honorary Fellow) and Janette Beckett, Director of Support Services and New Business, Spring Housing.
Find out more »
27th May
Financial Inclusion: Critique and alternatives.
Dr Rajiv Prabhakar, Senior Lecturer in Personal Finance at the Open University.
Find out more »
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