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Helen Fitzhugh

Senior Research Associate


She explores how good intentions are translated within organisations into action & if it is successful in creating positive change.







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Dr Helen Fitzhugh is Senior Research Associate in Norwich Business School, UEA. She is a social researcher interested in organisations and social value. She explores how good intentions are translated within organisations into action, and crucially, whether that action is successful in creating positive change for the people involved. She focuses on workplace wellbeing research and has supported a research project in Brussels on the workforce of the European Commission. She has worked with the UK’s College of Policing to evaluate initiatives for improving the wellbeing of police officers and staff. She ran a trial on mindfulness in policing that received media coverage and fed into the decision to make online mindfulness training available free to all police officers and staff.

Helen has previously worked at The Guild – a specialist consultancy for charities, social enterprises and public initiatives. She co-authored the book Inside Social Enterprise: Looking to the Future and presented on this to the All- Party Parliamentary Group for Social Enterprise in the UK’s Houses of Parliament. Her PhD study is on social value creation by social enterprises (businesses that trade for a social purpose).

Areas of Expertise

PolicingGood Intentions Translated in OrganisationsSocial ResearcherOrganisations and Social ValueCreative Positive Change in Organisations


University of East Anglia

Ph.D., Business Administration and Management


University of East Anglia

M.Res., Research in Social Sciences


University of East Anglia

B.A., Contemporary European Studies and Swedish Language


Media Appearances

Police in England and Wales Take Up Buddhist-inspired Meditation

Buddhistdoor Global  online


The report, titled “Mindfulness in Policing” was released this month by the College of Policing. It was authored by Helen Fitzhugh of the College of Policing, along with George Michaelides, Sara Connolly, and Kevin Daniels, all from the University of East Anglia.

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Police officers are offered meditation classes to combat stress after trial revealed 'mindfulness' boosted their performance

Daily Mail  online


Police officers are being offered meditation classes to combat stress after a trial revealed 'mindfulness' improved wellbeing, life satisfaction and work performance. The decision was made after a trial carried out by some 1,337 officers across five forces within the United Kingdom.

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Stop and breathe: police staff offered meditation lessons

The Guardian  online


Meditation lessons aimed at reducing stress will be made available to all 200,000 police staff in England and Wales after a trial across five forces found the practice improved average wellbeing, life satisfaction, resilience and work performance.

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Police forces are to use mindfulness techniques to tackle work pressures

iNews  online


Police forces are to take a more mindful approach to law and order to tackle burnout from the beat. A trial of online mindfulness resources across five constabularies found improved wellbeing, life satisfaction, resilience and performance for officers who participated.

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UEA academic hopes her study will improve workplace wellbeing practices across region

Eastern Daily Press  online


Dr Fitzhugh said research has proved that promoting employee wellbeing can reduce staff turnover and costs, and induce greater creativity. “A lot of people were really interested in employee wellbeing, it seems to be a booming space, but some organisations were confused about what they were going to do – how they could implement it, how it would fit into their general business approach,” she said.

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Mindfulness in policing: A randomized controlled trial of two online mindfulness resources across five forces in England and Wales | College of Policing


Both the Headspace and Mindfit Cop online mindfulness resources improved wellbeing, life satisfaction, resilience and performance, compared to the waiting list control group. Headspace provided greater improvement across these wellbeing outcomes compared to Mindfit Cop after 10 and 24 weeks, but Mindfit Cop’s results improved and moved closer to Headspace’s at 24 weeks.

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