Papworth research and Consultancy

We have been impressed with the way Rachel Papworth has led these projects. She has sought to engage us, as the client, at every stage in the process and produced well researched, documented and authoritative final reports. Rachel is a very effective and professional communicator.

The Sussex Learning Network





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who we are


Rachel Papworth

Rachel Papworth, Director

Rachel is a highly experienced social researcher who is interested in how to plan and deliver education, learning and training in such a way that it improves the social and economíc opportunities of the most disadvantaged, and in how people can be empowered to participate in the regeneration process.

Rachel created Papworth Research and Consultancy in 1997, after having worked in regeneration consultancy since 1989, holding research and consultancy positions with Pieda plc, P-E International plc, Lancashire Enterprises plc and the Institute of Manpower Studies. Through Papworth Research & Consultancy Ltd, she undertakes assignments independently, with other organisations and with associates (some of whom are introduced below), assembling bespoke teams for each assignment in response to the particular skills and knowledge required.

Rachel holds an MA(Econ) in Applied Social Research, is trained in measuring Social Return On Investment (SROI), and is a member of the Institution of Economic Development.


David Gilbert

David Gilbert, Associate

David is a qualitative researcher with 25 years' experience in the field of health, patient and public involvement and patient-centred improvement work across the UK and internationally. He has led a wide range of organisational development and leadership initiatives, focus groups, deliberative events and workshops, with patients, carers, the public and health professionals.

David previously held posts with NHS Centre for Involvement (as co-founder and Director), the Commission for Health Improvement (as Head of Patient and Public Involvement), the Office for Public Management, King's Fund and Consumer's Association. He was Patient and Public Involvement Project Director at Croydon PCT focusing on 'quality and commissioning' where he developed proposals for an insight unit that will focus on better use of patient experience data. For the Department of Health, he developed the Engagement Cycle, a model for patient and public engagement in commissioning.

His clients include local NHS organisations, charities and national agencies and his work in collaboration with Papworth Research & Consultancy includes evaluating the user involvement strategy of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative for Macmillan Cancer Support.

David has collaborated with Papworth Research & Consultancy on assignments including the following:


Steve Hearsum

Steve Hearsum, Associate

Steve Hearsum is a consultant, facilitator and coach who helps clients to see the big picture. With a knack for drawing out underlying issues, he empowers clients to find sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.

With over 20 years' experience across the private, public and third sectors, Steve has become fascinated by the interconnectedness of ingredients and process. Just as he constantly searches for the blend of bean, grinder, milk and steam which will produce the perfect cappuccino, within organisations he is concerned with cultural and interpersonal 'fit': how to integrate people with technology or processes. He assists clients to notice where they have put things in boxes (overlooking the relationship between ingredients and how they are combined), identify the resultant impact on authenticity and ultimately performance, and 'debox' themselves and their organisation, enabling them to innovate and change.

Papworth Research & Consultancy assignments on which Steve has worked include the following:


Papworth Research & Consultancy Ltd :  92 Bonchurch Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 3PH  :  +44 (0) 1273 699993
Registered in England & Wales | Registration number: 07302269 | Registered office: First Floor, Telecom House, 125-135 Preston Road, Brighton, BN1 6AF