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Mr Luke Billingham

Luke Billingham face

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Professional biography

I am a part-time Research Associate on the ESRC-funded Public Health, Youth and Violence Reduction research project, which is investigating violence reduction in Scotland and England. My particular focus for the project is violence reduction in London.

Alongside this, I am a youth and community worker in North East London, for Hackney Quest. My main focus in that role is providing intensive support to young people (and their families) who are experiencing complex difficulties, especially in relation to the education system. I have also set up a number of youth-led community change initiatives in Hackney Wick, the part of Hackney that I'm from, and where Hackney Quest is based.

I was lead author on the book Against Youth ViolenceA Social Harm Perspective (co-authored with Keir-Irwin Rogers), which was published by Bristol University Press in 2022.

Between 2016 and 2021, I co-founded and helped lead Reach Children's Hub, a charity based within Reach Academy Feltham which provides cradle-to-career support for local children, young people and families.

In 2020, I co-authored the final report of the cross-party parliamentary Youth Violence Commission.

I am involved with a number of criminal justice charities: I am a trustee and volunteer for Haven Distribution, and a volunteer for Longford Trust and New Bridge Foundation.

Research interests

My central research interest is the lives of young people in contemporary Britain, focused especially on the ways that they are affected by social harms deriving from policies, systems and institutions - particularly within the education and criminal justice systems.

I am interested in the subjective experience of inequality, marginalisation and structural belittlement, which I have explored through the concept of "mattering".

I have broader interests in social and political theory, criminology, philosophy, and social psychology.


Billingham, L. & Irwin-Rogers, K. (2022) Against Youth Violence: A Social Harm Perspective, Bristol: Bristol University Press


Billingham, L. & Gillon, F. (2024) '(Re)moving Exclusions: School exclusion reduction in Glasgow and London', British Educational Research Journal, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp. 287-306

Crossley, S., Curry, F., & Billingham, L. (2023). ‘You either go on the gang life, or you go on that football life’: class, race, and place in imaginaries of South London’s sports cages'. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-16.

Billingham, L. & Irwin-Rogers, K. (2021) 'The terrifying abyss of insignificance: Marginalisation, mattering and violence between young peopleOñati Socio-Legal Series, 11(5), pp. 1222–1249

Billingham, L. (2016) ‘Investigating contingency in school history: an aid to rich, meaningfully critical citizenship?The Curriculum Journal, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp. 430 – 453 

Book Chapters

Billingham, L. & Irwin-Rogers, K. (2020) ‘Mattering and the violence in our cities’, in R. Atkinson (ed.) Urban Crisis, Urban Hope, London: Anthem Press

Billingham, L. (2020) ‘Reach Academy & Reach Children’s Hub: A school and charity partnership working together to provide community support and to enable community action’, in S. Chapleau (ed.) Schools in their Communities: Taking Action and Developing Civic Life, London: Big Education

Billingham, L. (2019) ‘More relationships, deeper change and fewer fads’, in L. Menzies (ed.) A Decade in the Making: Where Next for Young People in England?, London: Centre for Education & Youth 

Billingham, L. (2018) ‘2018 & 2081: Where are we now and where are we headed?’, in H. Goulden (ed) Beyond Meritocracy, London: Young Foundation 

Research & Policy Reports

Billingham, L. (2023) 'The Difference a MUGA can make', Hackney Quest

Billingham, L. (2020) ‘Sports Cages & Multi-Use Games Areas: Places of safety, places of harm, places of potential’, Hackney Quest

Irwin-Rogers, K., Muthoo, A., & Billingham, L. (2020) ‘Youth Violence Commission Final Report’, Final Report of the Cross-Party Parliamentary Commission on Youth Violence 

Billingham, L., Isaacs, J. & Oyeleye, R. (2018) ‘Hackney Wick Through Young Eyes’, Hackney Quest


‘You either go on the gang life, or you go on that football life’: class, race, and place in imaginaries of South London’s sports cages (2023)
Crossley, Stephen; Curry, Fraser and Billingham, Luke
Journal of Youth Studies ([Early Access])

(Re)moving exclusions: School exclusion reduction in Glasgow and London (2023)
Billingham, Luke and Gillon, Fern
British Educational Research Journal, 50(1) (pp. 287-306)

Against Youth Violence: A Social Harm Perspective (2022-10-27)
Billingham, Luke and Irwin-Rogers, Keir
ISBN : 978-1529214062 | Publisher : Bristol University Press