Living Well Oxford secures wellcome people award
Living Well Oxford has recently secured a Wellcome People Award, to develop and run a “pop-up shop” entitled “Ageing: From Birth and Beyond” in Templars Square Shopping Centre in May 2017.
This exciting opportunity will enable us to work with a range of local community groups, researchers, clinicians and charities to create an interactive experience of engagement opportunities during Dementia Awareness Week 2017.
Initially, we will be working with seldom-heard groups from the local community, to discuss their perspectives on public engagement, and what kinds of activities and information they would like to see included in the “pop-up shop”. This will provide us with vital background information to feed into the development of the shop and its content. We will work with local researchers from both the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, who will develop activities which are relevant to the theme and of interest to the public.
The title “Ageing: From Birth and Beyond” was chosen to emphasise ageing’s relevance to everyone. Our bodies change, develop and age in different ways throughout our lives, not only in our later years. So we will have content on ageing from different perspectives, and will include a variety of activities which will appeal to a range of ages. We would like the local community to feel connected to Oxford’s research and vice versa. We want to inspire the project participants to share their stories and passion in innovative way, which will in turn stimulate and engage the public.
The Living Well Oxford project started in February this year. It is a collaboration between Science Oxford, the Oxford Academic Health Science Network and the Oxford Health Experiences Institute. The aim of the project is to create space to support the exploration and understanding of health and healthcare. We need to involve the public: learning from them and helping them to understand health and illness, to manage their own health and to access care when they need it. The long term vision is to provide education space for the public, schools and medical and healthcare students; to encourage dialogue between industry, academia and the public to develop ideas; to work collaboratively with other organisations to develop events which promote debate.
The Programme Manager is co-ordinating a 12-month pilot to develop and evaluate activities and events which will build expertise and evidence for the longer term larger-scale project. So far we have worked with a range of partners to deliver a selection of events, including a public debate about genome data privacy (as part of the British Science Association’s Future Debates series) and a stroke storytelling event during Oxfordshire Science Festival. This grant from the Wellcome Trust will enable us to explore a different way to involve the public in the development of events, and be a good case study to use in the development of the project.
For further information about the Living Well Oxford project, please take a look at the blog: https://livingwelloxford.wordpress.com/.