Personal profile

Research interests


Lesley joined the AskFuse service in March 2018 as Research Associate.  She supports the work of the AskFuse manager and Fuse knowledge broker Dr Peter van der Graaf. 

AskFuse is the responsive research and evaluation service for public health, which is part of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in public health.  Although based at Teesside University, AskFuse covers the North East of England.    You can find more information on Fuse and AskFuse at

Lesley's AskFuse role includes facilitating knowledge exchange in public health. She works with organisations in the voluntary and community sector, local authorities, healthcare and statutory sector to develop their research and evaluation capabilities by brokering partnerships with public health researchers involved across Fuse.   As well as facilitating partnerships across sectors, Lesley also enables organisations to connect with their stakeholders via co-planning and co-facilitating events, with the aim of making the research/evaluation process as fully participatory as possible.  Examples of this include facilitating and co-organising Fuse workshops which bring policy and practice partners together with Fuse researchers, facilitating interactive elements of workshops led by stakeholder organisations, and promoting AskFuse and Fuse at a wide range of public events.

She is also interested in research into mental health/wellbeing, asylum/refugee public health, health inequalities and the public health benefits of green and blue spaces.

Prior to joining AskFuse, Lesley worked in NHS research delivery for Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV).  She enjoyed working in partnership with the Clinical Research Network and primary and secondary healthcare trusts to promote and deliver a wide range of healthcare research to service users, carers and staff.   She also facilitated practice placement learning for students of Occupational Therapy in mental health/learning disabilities clinical settings, and for nursing students in an NHS research delivery setting.

Lesley qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and worked in the NHS for 20 years alongside people of all ages who had physical/mental health/learning disabilities.  Two secondment opportunities enabled her to work alongside TEWV, and then Middlesbrough Council to co-produce and deliver training to a wide range of health professionals, and to conduct evaluation and strategies to meet future training needs.  



Education/Academic qualification

Post Grad Cert. Health Research Methods (Qualitative and Quantitative), Durham University

1 Oct 201331 Jan 2014

Award Date: 31 Jan 2014

Bachelor, Occupational Therapy, University of Derby

1 Oct 19941 Jul 1997

Award Date: 1 Aug 1997

Master, Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

1 Sept 19841 Jul 1988

Award Date: 1 Aug 1988


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