In early October, the NIHR Schools for Public Health Research, Primary Care Research and Social Care Research hosted a webinar on increasing public diversity in involvement in research. During this webinar people shared their experiences from research with people who identify as LGBTQ+, migrant communities and people experiencing homelessness.
Some communities are underserved when it comes to participating in research. The NIHR Schools for Public Health Research, Primary Care Research and Social Care Research are pleased to present the webinar series “Diversity and involvement: whom to involve?”. This was the third webinar of the series, after a first session on engaging and working with young people and a second session on involving people living with dementia and learning difficulties in research.
During the webinar, we heard from three different projects, sharing their experiences and tips of working with people with lived experience from various minoritised communities
Working with the LGBTQ+ community
Katie Saunders (researcher), Clara M de Barros (public contributor) and Sally Crowe (public involvement consultant), encouraged webinar participants to become more inclusive in their Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research by sharing their learning from a two year project with people that identify as LGBTQ+.
Katie has unique perspectives as someone new to PPI, and as a clinical statistician and data specialist. She shared her motivation and interests in initially getting involved in PPI, and what she has learnt along the way. Clara and Sally, whilst both experienced in PPI, had a conversation exploring five broad themes and challenges of inclusive working in LGBTQ+ research. The session also signposted useful existing guidance about working in and with LGBTQ+ communities.
Working with the Homeless Community
Stan Burridge spent a large part of his childhood in the care system and has a long history on the homelessness scene. He gained his working experience by volunteering for several charitable organisations over two decades and has been at the forefront of many initiatives of both direct and indirect action during that time.
He is a well-respected contributor for national and international media organisations on homelessness issues and has been published in many health and social care sector publications. Following a successful seven years leading on involvement at a national level Stan launched Expert Focus in 2019 where he continues to support the voice of lived experience by encouraging organisations and people with lived experience to work together having ‘adult’ conversations.
Stan brings a wealth of insight and has a unique talent of being able to engage with ‘lived experience’ and service providers alike. He has a proven track record of holding audience’s captive with a mix of hard-hitting facts and tongue in cheek humour.
Working with the Migrant Community
Shamini Gnani and Gillian Samuel talked about how they use skills in community engagement and lived experience to connect with migrant/ ethnic minority communities; they discussed how this can develop into trusting relationships and a sense of harmony, so that working in partnership and public involvement easily follow. and how this can lead to creative co-produced research.
Gillian Samuel coordinates public involvement across the NIHR SPHR Public Mental Health Programme and her role extends into peer research, where she brings her own lived experience into the heart of specific projects, co-designing and co-producing, often using creative methods of delivery. Amongst other positions, Gillian worked as service manager for Mind in Harrow where she became the lead on equality and diversity. She was also chair of Loud and Clear Mental Health Advocacy Service and has been a trainer in mental health with Impact Social Care.
Shamini Gnani is a senior clinical teaching fellow at Imperial College London and honorary public health doctor and GP, working in primary care organisations and health authorities. Her research interests are in primary care, mental health, urgent care, quality improvement and health inequalities at a national and international level.
The webinar presentations can now be viewed in full below:
If you have any questions for the researchers or our community partners, please contact us at SPHR.Comms@newcastle.ac.uk