The Awards Panel

Clive Newton, Chair

Clive Newton started out as a social worker and community worker in the early 1970s before moving on to a role in planning.  Subsequently, he was involved in university-based research and in training, with a particular focus on mental health and on partnership practice in social work.  This included brief pieces of work with Averil Osborn, both in Scotland and at the Nuffield Institute.  During the latter part of his working life, he was employed in the voluntary sector, including 16 years with Age Concern England/Age UK. He is currently Chair of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire.

Karen Burnell, Secretary to the Panel, Solent University

Karen is Chartered Psychologist by research and holds a PhD in Psychology. She has been an active researcher since 2007, and a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Solent University. Her research interests concern collaborative research. Currently, she is working on projects that explore the benefits of archaeology for veteran wellbeing, which involve veterans, service providers, and the policy makers as collaborators. More broadly, Karen is interested in the psychology of ageing and how we cope with experiences that challenge our sense of identity.     

Robert Peacock, Edinburgh

Bob Peacock was a life partner with Averil Osborn for 26 years until her untimely death in 1994.  During the 1960s Bob participated as statistical research assistant in a major study of Urban Growth in England and the development of New Towns in Britain; in the 70s and 80s he contributed to and chaired courses at the Open University in Statistics and Research Methods in the Social Sciences; in the nineties, and before early retirement in 2001, he worked as a statistician involved in the design and analysis of clinical trials in drug development with the Swedish pharmaceutical company Astra, which merged with the English company Zeneca in 2000.

Sheila Peace, The Open University

Shelia Peace is Emeritus Professor of Social Gerontology within the Faculty of Well-being, Education and Language Studies at The Open University.  A social geographer by first discipline, she gained her PhD in the area of environment and ageing in 1977.  Sheila has maintained an on-going research career - funded through DH, ESRC, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Local Authorities - concerned with many aspects of the micro and macro environment in later life including quality of life issues for older people living in care homes, mainstream housing and supportive housing as well as intergenerational social interaction within the community.  She joined The Open University in 1991 and with colleagues in the Centre for Ageing and Biographical Studies (CABS) has contributed to the development of participatory research involving older people.  She was Associate Dean (Research) within the Faculty of Health & Social Care until 2009. Her recent research has included - collaborative work concerning the ‘kitchen’ with ergonomic colleagues from Loughborough University within the ESRC led New Dynamics of Ageing programme, and a study of the needs and aspirations of visually impaired older people for the Thomas Pocklington Trust.  Currently, she is consultant to a study concerning older couples who live apart – one in a care home through living with dementia and the other in the community. Sheila is a former President of the British Society of Gerontology and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.  Widely published she co-authored the seminal study in care homes Private Lives in Public Places in 1987; ‘Environment and Identity in Later Life’ in 2006 and is co-editor of ‘Ageing in Society: European Perspectives in Gerontology’ now in its third edition (2007).  She has been Emeritus Professor since 2016 and is writing a book on ‘Environment and Ageing: Space, Place and Materiality’ for Policy Press.

Kate Davidson, University of Surrey

Kate Davidson came to academia as a mature student, undertaking a degree in Social Policy and then on to gerontology, after a quarter of a century as a nurse and Health Visitor in Belfast and London.  She was Secretary and later President of the BSG as well as Vice Chair of Age Concern Surrey.  She was a founder member of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender at the University of Surrey and since her retirement has maintained her connections there as an Honorary Fellow.  Her continued interest in the ‘nuts and bolts’ of policy and social research means she is a strong supporter of the spirit of the Averil Osborn Fund.