Meet the Team

Michelle Howarth
Dr Michelle Howarth

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Salford and Deputy Director for PGR (progressions and training). Michelle has a specialist interest in social prescribing and the use of nature-based, person-centred approaches to promote health and wellbeing. Michelle leads the National Social Prescribing Network Special Interest Group for Nursing through which she is actively campaigning to raise awareness of social prescribing amongst nurses through research, curriculum development and placement opportunities. Michelle is a member of the Social Prescribing Network (SPN) Steering Group and the Greater Manchester Social Prescribing Steering group.


Sarah Bodell

Sarah is an HCPC Registered Occupational Therapist, graduating in 1991. Sarah has worked in clinical practice, service management and education in voluntary, private and statutory provision. Sarah joined the University of Salford in 2003, as a Lecturer before being promoted to Senior Lecturer. Sarah is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a two time holder of the Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching award, and recipient of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Merit Award (2018).

Sarah is a founder member of Online Technology for Occupational Therapy (OT4OT), now recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) as an International Advisory Group for Social Media. She is also a co-developer of Occubuzz, a digital self-management tool that aims to enable users to manage their wellbeing by making choices about what they do, based on how they feel. More recently, Sarah has been working with the Salford Integrated Social Prescribing Hub and is keep to explore the relationship between occupational science and social prescribing outcomes.

Dr Cormac Lawler

Cormac is a Research Fellow in the School of Health & Society, and is coordinating the development of the Salford Social Prescribing Hub. He has a strong interest in community-based work, including previous work with the charity Radio Regen supporting community radio stations to develop projects in employability and health, and helping to run a horticultural learning centre in East Manchester.

He was previously based in the University of Manchester where he completed his PhD on open educational communities, and lectured and researched in the field of communication and educational technologies.

Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is a HCPC registered occupational therapist with a background in mental health and learning disabilities. Rachel joined the University in 1993, she is a Senior Lecturer and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a Masters in Sociology.

Rachel has expertise in the impact of good work on health and wellbeing and the facilitation of employment or other meaningful occupation, within routine health care practice. This work has led to an interest in how social prescribing can support a person’s engagement in meaningful occupation and to the formation of the Salford Integrated Social Prescribing Hub. She is working with Cormac and Sarah on the development of a tool to support social prescription practice.

Alan Mathew

Alan is a Teaching & Learning Intern in Occupational Therapy at the University of Salford, and is also one of the SP Hub’s lead social prescribing trainers.

Alan is a HCPC registered Occupational Therapist practicing since 2015. His main background is in acute care services in a range of physical settings, particularly Stroke and Trauma and Orthopaedics. Whilst at the university Alan’s main roles include: teaching on the Occupational Therapy programme, module leadership for Occupation Through the Lifespan, membership of the Social Prescribing Hub and year manager for Level 5 (BSc OT). Also facilitating OT Café sessions (extracurricular sessions for students/CPD opportunities),  working with BSc admissions for the programme and fitness to practice investigation. Alan also serves as communications lead for the North West region for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists committee.

Rowan Morris

Rowan Morris is a HCPC registered occupational therapist, graduating in 2012, with a background in forensic mental health.

Rowan has interests in social inclusion through sport, work and encouraging people to become more socially connected. Rowan is a trainer for the Salford Social Prescribing Hub tool and is keen to enhance university partnership working.

Maxine Hamilton-Bell

Maxine is a Practice Learning Facilitator at the University of Salford with a background in social work. She has developed and supported the student learning experience in public health and social prescribing/salutogenic environments. Maxine has worked in partnership with stakeholders across Voluntary Sector Organisations to develop and enhance effective mechanisms for student support, supervision, teaching and assessment in practice, to create new ways of delivering innovative practice learning experiences.  Maxine has provided support and guidance to practice staff in their provision of practice for health and social care professional students. Maxine has extensive experience in the field of practice education, teaching and supervision, and she has recently been successful in passing her Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. 

Maxine is a member of the Greater Manchester Social Prescribing Steering Group; she has set up a student interest group to ensure there is an open dialogue to influence change.

Steering Group

In addition to the core team, we also have a steering group, to have strategic oversight of the work of the Hub. The steering group is composed of people from different organisations and sectors, in order to ensure that the Hub is representative of and relevant to the widest possible spread of the social prescribing community.