Publish date: 04 October 2023

Nearly 200 people have visited a family-friendly open event in Islington which engaged the local community in the latest research and innovation in the NHS.

The event from the Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at UCLH and the Islington Bangladesh Association (IBA) featured interactive stalls, health information and Q&A sessions, and games and activities for children.

The BRC and IBA took a co-production approach to developing the event where the local community was engaged extensively before the development of the event. The BRC and IBA asked local community members what they would like to see and hear about at the event, so that the open event could be developed with this input in mind. This made the event different from previous open days organised at UCLH.

By taking research out into the community, the team also ensured research could reach people who may not otherwise encounter research.

Over the course of an afternoon at a community space just off the Caledonian Road, visitors were able to:

  • Try out wearable technology that can monitor your health
  • Feel what it’s like to have hearing loss – and hear about the research being done to address hearing loss
  • Create artwork, in a way that sheds light on dementia
  • And much more.

Translators were on hand throughout the afternoon.

Feedback forms were given to every attendee and the BRC received 100 forms back. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Visitors said the event was well organised and very informative, and nearly all said they learned more about research as a result.

The event lead at UCLH was the BRC’s Head of Patient and Public Involvement and Communications Dr Ros Yu, who said: “Our event showed the importance of partnership working, in order to engage local communities in research. By working together, UCLH and IBA were able to deliver stalls, talks and activities which took account of what the local community wanted to hear about, and I want to thank everyone at IBA and everyone who came along on the day for what was an incredibly enjoyable event.”

Hanif Ahmed, Administrator for the IBA, said: “We were delighted to work alongside UCLH for this event, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Biomedical Research Centre in future to develop events and sessions that can be of benefit to our local community members.”