Innovation and Research Unit


Who are we?

The Innovation & Research Unit (IRU) consists of a range of WDP staff and volunteers from across the organisation who have a passion for and experience in research and/or service delivery.
The IRU is overseen by Devon De Silva, Business Analyst, who, along with the IRU Officer, ensures the day-to-day running of the unit. 

Our aims: 

1.   To design and contribute to research projects which will inform how services within the sector are commissioned and delivered going forward

2.   To produce new and exciting innovations which enhance WDP’s existing service delivery. 


How do we achieve our aims?

We achieve our two core aims by:
  • Developing links with local universities 
  • Facilitating access to our staff and service users for local universities conducting research  
  • Developing and conducting research projects in conjunction with local universities 
  • Designing, conducting and publishing in-house research projects 
  • Developing links with groups which have the power to influence government and inform policy 
  • Overseeing WDP’s Bright Ideas Scheme which encourages staff and volunteers to provide innovation and research suggestions which, if implemented/published, leads to a financial reward for the individual 
  • Establishing a feedback mechanism to ensure that all research findings and approved innovation suggestions are used to improve service delivery.  

  Current Research & Innovation Projects




  Upcoming Research & Innovation Projects




Morton, L. (2016). A Case Report of a Concurrent Treatment of Cannabis and Tobacco Use within a Community Substance Misuse Service. Journal of Addiction, Research & Therapy, 7: 279.

Morton, L. & Nanda, M. Capital Card™ Reward Scheme. Earn, Spend, Live: The Future of Client Engagement. Poster presented at: Social Prescribing: from Rhetoric to Reality, Kings Fund Conference; 2017 May 18; London, UK. 

Cardwell, V., Wainwright L. (2018). Making Better Births a reality for women with multiple disadvantages. London: Revolving Doors.  

Moss, T., Cox, S., Hodgkinson, G., Tyler A. (2018). Street Drinking in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. London: WDP & LSBU. Link to Executive Summary.

Gleeson, H., Thom, B., Bayley, M., McQuarrie, T. (2019). Rapid evidence review: Drinking problems and interventions in black and minority ethnic communities. Middlesex University. Link to Executive Summary.






  Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating or conducting research with us, please contact us by email at:

If you would like to speak with us directly, you can contact Devon De Silva at: or on 0777 972 0841.

Follow our Twitter account for news and updates at @WDP_IRU.