Sorcha joined us in June 2014 to work on our poverty research programme.

Before joining the team, Sorcha worked as a freelance researcher for a number of clients including The Children’s Society, the new economics foundation, the Roundhouse, Corr-Willbourn Research and Development, and Public Health England. Her projects have included an exploration of Ways to Well-being for children, an investigation into families’ experiences of living with unmanageable debt, and an evaluation of an arts outreach programme for disadvantaged youth. Prior to freelancing, Sorcha worked in the wellbeing research team at the new economics foundation. Before becoming a researcher, she worked as a programme officer at the Community Development Foundation.

Sorcha has 12 years’ experience doing qualitative research with vulnerable groups. She holds a PhD (an ethnographic study of young people growing up in slum communities in Bangkok) and a Master’s degree (in Research Methods) from the University of Bath, and a Master’s degree in International Development from SOAS. 

Sorcha has a passion for in-depth, qualitative and ethnographic research, and for imparting research knowledge in an engaging and accessible way. Alongside her work at The Children’s Society, she is involved in an in-depth study of the experiences of single mothers living in poverty in the neighbourhood where she lives.

She has two amazing children, and when she is not busy with the job of parenting she is an avid reader of ethnographic and journalistic accounts of everyday life at the sharp end of our many inequality spectrums.

List of current projects

  • Understanding Childhoods in Hard Times: a qualitative longitudinal research project on childhood in low income families, in collaboration with the University of Bath
  • Making a House a Home: an Evaluation Study of intervening to alleviate fuel poverty
  • Debt project: research with families living with unmanageable debt
  • Development of the Research, Ethics and Engagement Framework for The Children’s Society

Selected Publications at The Children’s Society

Mahony, S and Stockton, H. (2015) Making a House a Home: Providing Affordable Warmth Solutions for Children and Families living in Fuel Poverty. London: The Children’s Society.

For more publications by Sorcha and the research team at The Children’s Society, see our publications library.

Other notable publications

Mahony, S (forthcoming). Searching for a Better Life: Growing up in the Slums of Bangkok. Oxford: Berghahn

Jeffrey, K., Mahony, S., Michaelson, J. and Abdallah, S. (2014) Wellbeing at work: A review of the literature. London: nef

Mahony, S. and Schifferes, J. (with contributions from Helen Kersley). (2014) Diversity and Integration: How Young People at the Roundhouse shape each other’s experience. London: nef.

Mahony, S., Michaelson, J. and Schifferes, J. (2012) Measuring Well-being: A guide for practitioners. London: nef.

Abdallah, S., Mahony, S., Marks, N., Michaelson, J., Seaford, C., Stoll, L. & Thompson, S. (2011). Measuring our progress: The power of well-being. London: nef.

Mahony, S., Thompson, S. and Seaford, C. (2011). Understanding the barriers to raising population well-being. London: nef.

Contact Details

The Children's Society
Edward Rudolf House
Margery Street
London WC1X 0JL


Tel: 0207 841 4400

M: 07969 791 956