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North Thames team engages communities

Taking research to the people and finding out what kinds of research they wanted to get involved in were key drivers for members of the CRN North Thames team to attend the recent Festival of Communities in east London. 

The team - Chidimma Onyejiaka, Dane Goodere-Bennett and Ghazal Ebrat - spoke to more than 200 members of the public on the day, telling them about research and giving details about specific studies they could get involved in. They also made exciting new connections with local organisations; paving the way to future collaborations and opening doors to more communities. 

They were supported by Dr Monisha Ravikumar, a research associate from Loughborough University, who is working on the NIHR-supported Sleep In the City study, which looks at how summer temperatures affect our sleep and wellbeing. 

As a result of the team’s efforts, 21 people were screened for the research study after visiting the stall.

Dr Ravikumar said: “It was a great event for the community and such a productive day for recruiting participants for our study.”  

“Research should be delivered to where the need is,” explained Chidimma Onyejiaka, a Clinical Research Practitioner in the North Thames team who attended the day. 

“The crux of going along was to find out more about people’s experience of and involvement in research, but we want to build links with local community groups and local businesses, so this was part of that.”

The team canvassed people’s views on and experiences of research, also taking time to understand some of the barriers to research participation among different attendees. 

The Festival of Communities is organised by Queen Mary University of London and is a local event promoting services for the east London community. Held at Stepney Green Park, a group from CRN North Thames attended in 2022 and wanted to keep up the momentum this year.