+ From Ideas to Influence: making your experience count
On 6th May 2021 we held our online event, From ideas to influence: making your experience count, in collaboration with the University of Manchester’s Healthy Ageing research team. The event was co-designed and delivered by a member of the GMOPN who worked to make the online experience as inclusive and interactive as possible.
The aim of the event was to encourage older people from diverse backgrounds to get involved in research as experts by experience and to explore the barriers to participation. Over 65 people attended and brought their experience to explore how research could encourage older people from all backgrounds to be involved and contribute. It was also an opportunity to share some of the work developed as part of the GMOPN’s collaboration with the University, including the Keeping Well Campaign. The GMOPN are in the process of writing a report, bringing together insights from the workshops about the barriers to involvement. This will be available soon.
We heard from fantastic speakers at the event. These included Professor Chris Todd from the University of Manchester who explored the reasons for conducting research and the fundamental role of experts by experience, and Jane Mcdermott from the University of Manchester and Gillian Stainthorpe from the GM Older People's Network who told the story of the Keeping Well Campaign. We also heard from Aneela McAvoy from Health Innovation Manchester, and the other members of our GMOPN Event Planning Group: Judie Collins, Elizabeth Lynskey and Elaine Unegbu.
At this event we explored some of the commonly held views about research and attempted to bust some of the myths and break down some of the barriers to getting involved.
We discussed the potential, benefits and necessity of involving older people as experts by experience in the whole process of research: from identifying priority areas, informing the way in which research is conducted, to making sure that it is applied to make the changes and have the impact needed.
The event was developed by some of our network members, alongside Manchester University colleagues. It was open to anyone aged 50 or over living or working in Greater Manchester, or those who had strong links to older people who wished to be involved.