Congratulations to one of our associates Amy Murray who has just become Dr Amy Murray.
Amy has recently completed her doctorate in Social Gerontology at Swansea University. The PhD focused on the process of giving up driving in later life, with a specific focus upon informal support. Current and retired older drivers, and their family, friends and members of the community from the South West Wales area were recruited for the study.
Amy’s findings revealed a complex and multi-faceted picture – on the whole, she found driving cessation to be a largely negative transition for most older adults, primarily due to the experience of loss. Older people often substituted the ability to drive themselves with lifts from their informal support network. Amy’s research showed that for the family, friends and community members of older drivers, providing support for the older adults’ transport and mobility needs is a positive experience for some, (dependent upon their availability/willingness to help) but that for many, feelings of guilt, stress and burden were apparent. This was often due to the additional responsibilities they held since driving cessation had occurred. Overall, Amy’s findings hold important messages for policy and practice, as well as for older people and their informal support networks.
Amy has worked with Urban Foundry on a number of projects, including research for a feasibility study for Neath Port Talbot Council for their ‘Lost Peatlands’ project proposals to reinstate an area of peatland with all of its attendant ecological benefits, and incorporating a visitor centre. Following Amy’s work assessing the potential demand for visitor facilities, the Council was successful in securing a sizeable grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to progress the project. Amy has also delivered research work for us on projects we delivered for Swansea Council’s Rural Development Partnership and Mumbles Community Council.
Amy also works as a Research Assistant at the Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University – a world class research centre addressing key questions in ageing & dementia.
We are looking forward to celebrating with Dr Amy very soon!