Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre participates in Takeover challenge

On Friday 20 November, the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) participated in Takeover Challenge – a project led by the UK Children's Commissioner, which sees organisations across England opening their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles.

Members of the BRC Young People’s Advisory Group and BRC youth award winners designed, planned, and organised a packed day of activities.

Dani, a member of the BRC Young People’s Advisory Group, explains: “Our idea was to use the day to raise awareness of what the Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre is – initially, a lot of us didn’t really have a clear idea of what it is, so we designed a programme of activities to engage researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, and to help them understand the work of the Biomedical Research Centre. We also wanted to get them interested in participation – making sure they are aware of the Young People’s Advisory Group and the role that we can play in shaping and carrying out research.”

The day consisted of a morning drop-in session, where attendees could take part in a mock trial assessing whether activities such as mindfulness colouring and simple games affect our emotions; view research posters; contribute to research mapping; a quiz; and exchange ideas with the young people who organised the event. Later, the event moved to the Ortus, where BRC researchers and staff were put in the hot seat by the young people.

Research worker Lisa Doughty, who facilitated the day, said, “As well as being great fun, having young people take over BRC for the day has definitely brought attention to the vital role that young people play in our work – including how our Young People’s Advisory Group helps to shape our research and services. Takeover Challenge is something we hope to participate in annually, so I can’t wait to see what next year’s takeover will look like!”

Sally Strange, a member of the BRC/U Service User Advisory Group – who was also involved in the formation of the Young People’s Advisory Group – also helped facilitate the day, and commented: “I think it’s really important for young people to disseminate the culture of research – a lot of people have very little awareness of how research works, and there is a lot of misinformation out there. It's also very important to improve the way we engage young people in research – both as participants, and in meaningful service user involvement.”

The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and Dementia Unit (BRC/U) is a partnership between South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience King's College London.

Tags: Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 23 Nov 2015, 16:26 PM

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