This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Children’s book to inspire future generations to be part of research in the West Midlands

Researchers have partnered with a best-selling author to  create a book designed to give children aged 7-10 a greater understanding of health and care research - and copies will be made available to all primary schools in the West Midlands.

With a background in teaching and a carer for young disabled adults, Alex Winstanley is the author behind a popular series of children’s books which promote inclusivity and diversity.

Now he has worked with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Networks in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester as part of a special project to coincide with International Clinical Trials Day.  

Complete with charming illustrations, Ready For Research is a book which aims to get children thinking about the importance of research from a young age.

Last year more than 1.3 million people, of all ages, took part in vital health and social care research in England, playing a part in developing better treatments, improving diagnosis, and learning more about prevention of illness to provide better care for everyone. It is common that people might have questions before agreeing to be part of research. Using lived-experience examples, Ready for Research takes the reader on a journey alongside a young person who, after being invited to take part in a study, overcomes their fears and helps others to do the same.

The book will be launched in the West Midlands on 17 May as part of  a week of events taking place at NHS sites and community settings across the country to mark International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May.

The book will form part of NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands’ strategy for engaging and educating young people and schools across the region in health and care research. It will be available in local schools, libraries  and different care settings to use as an aid when discussing research participation for young people.

Carly Tibbins, Public Engagement Officer with the CRN West Midlands said:  “It’s important for young people to know their rights when it comes to their health and taking part in research and we hope this book will highlight to them the opportunities that are available for them to contribute to vital research studies. The information is broken down into manageable amounts and accompanied by helpful and engaging images.  We are delighted to be able to make the book available so widely.”

Author Alex Winstanley, who lives in Wigan with his wife and two children, and is also co-founder of the Happy Smiles community interest company, said:  “It was a pleasure to be asked to be involved in this project. Writing a book that dispels myths and supports inclusion and diversity is something I’m very passionate about and I am pleased to have been able to hopefully do that, through this great book about the benefits of research!”


Notes for editors
Ready for Research has been produced in collaboration with the National Institute Health and Care Research organisations Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester and Clinical Research Network West Midlands.