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Hundreds attend NIHR health research festival in Oldham library

Almost 400 people attended a festival which gave the community the chance to learn about and get involved in health research.

The Health Research Festival took place inside Oldham Library, Greaves Street, on Saturday 13 May 2023. 

It was hosted by NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester in collaboration with Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust and health and care services from the Oldham borough. 

The celebration marked the beginning of a week of events taking place at NHS sites and community settings across Greater Manchester to mark International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May. 

The festival was held over two floors and attracted 385 people of all ages. They were given the chance to take part in research studies on the day and were told about research projects they can sign-up to, including the NIHR initiatives Be Part of ResearchJoin Dementia Research and Research for the Future

Attendees could also take advantage of free health checks and enjoy research-themed games and activities suitable for all the family. 

Outside the library building, people were given tours of the NIHR’s state-of-the-art Research Van, which is unique to Greater Manchester and is giving people opportunities to be part of research in everyday locations across the region. 

The festival also featured the launch of the NIHR’s  first ever children's story book about research, with readings led by best-selling author Alex Winstanley. The picture book, titled Ready for Research, takes the reader on a journey alongside a young person who, after being invited to participate in a study, overcomes their fears and helps others do the same. 

Susan Neeson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester, said:

“We would like to thank everyone who came along to our festival or hosted a stall. We could really feel the energy and enthusiasm for research in the room and we were delighted with the response. 

“Holding these festivals in places such as Oldham Library is all part of our strategy to make research as inclusive and accessible for our local communities. We’re already looking forward to planning the next one.”