Reaching Out: an innovative project to improve the diversity of voices heard within research.
03 Feb 2019



Caroline Barker, University Hospital Southampton




Parallel Session 1: Equality and Diversity Communications  ​
Tuesday 10 April 10:15 - 12:0​​0

The Reaching Out project is about increasing the participation of currently underrepresented groups in Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in health and social care research. 

PPI can be explained as research that is actively planned and/or conducted by or with members of the public, rather than to, for or about them. It places the public at the heart of service design, treatment and intervention development and priority setting. 

We have shown that those contributing to PPI are not representative of the local demographic. This includes an over-representation of those with high levels of educational attainment and an under-representation of ethnic minority backgrounds.

Publics involved in PPI activities are influencing and shaping health and social care around their needs. We need to address the lack of diversity within PPI to ensure that research is meaningful and relevant to the population, ultimately improving health and social care for everyone.

The Reaching Out project celebrates the diversity of our community and empowers all groups in Southampton to be visible, be active and to be listened to. We are running a storytelling event, in which local community representatives can share their life stories and talk about their communities. We will then work in partnership to design and deliver community-based events which offer previously unheard voices the opportunity to influence and shape research.  By breaking down the initial barriers and learning about each other, we can start welcoming more diverse communities into PPI. 

Contact: Fletcher, Sara (STFC,RAL,ISIS)