As part of its' core values, PCVS prioritises community health and wellbeing believing that everyone deserves the best holistic health care and overall wellbeing possible, regardless of their race, religion, political belief, economic or social background. This is the ethos of the three health projects currently being delivered by the PCVS Health Team. PCVS Health Research Coordinator Joshua Fowler, gives an update on one of these projects, the REND project.
The REND (Research Engagement Network Development) project has received a new tranche of funding to continue the work to improve diversity in research up until April 2024. In July we explored some new ideas to implement for the REND project and heavily drafted, wrote and rewrote our part of the funding application. We contacted various different community organisations and charities in July and August to involve them in the health inequalities research event that took place at the Allia Future Business Centre on 26 September. The event was warmly received, with a relatively good turn out and many people expressed a desire to be involved in possible future research events.
In August and September, we contacted a number of charities and community organisations to see if they wanted to participate in the Research Ready Community Champions programme that we intend to do with the help of the Clinical Research Network (CRN) and National Institute of Health and Social Care Research (NIHR). We have eight community research champions, from the Russian, Gambian, Nepalese and Chinese communities in Peterborough, Bharat Hindu Samaj, St Mark’s Church, the Raham Project, and the Bengali Sanskrit Club. The training will take place online via MS Teams with all community research champions from each group allotted two, 2-hour sessions.
The next thing that we need to do is to engage with communities and groups around mental health, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes and kidney disease to pull together people with lived experience of the above into focus groups. There are four aims with creating research advisory/focus groups: to increase for people around health research; to understand people’s health concerns; to understand the wider social determinants that affect their health; and gauge people’s health literacy for each health area.
The hope is that what comes out of these discussions can help to fuel academic and medical research ideas vis-à-vis the Inequalities Research Network (IRN) and for the people involved in this to link in with North West Anglia Foundation Trust (NWAFT) and their Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) and research studies.