Kay’s Blog (PPIE Forum Co-Chair) #1

by | May 14, 2019 | Kay's Blog | 0 comments

Public Contributor Kay Gallacher has recently been appointed Lay Chair for the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health’s (FBMH) Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) Forum. She will be writing a quarterly blog to provide an update on her role and on the Forum. 

For those of you who don’t know me I’ve been a Public Contributor (PC) for nearly five years, starting with the H@PPI Forum at HeRC.  For most of my professional career I worked in property and regeneration marketing and now I enjoy using my communication skills to ensure documents like research papers and leaflets are written in clear, understandable English.  Currently I’m involved with five projects, including developing a guide and an app for users of primary care services. 

Outside of Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE), although I’m “retired” I always seem to be busy!  I love knitting, gardening, walking with The Ramblers and I’ve just taken up Samba Drumming, so you’ll be able to see me banging my drum at the Manchester Day Parade.

About the Forum

The Forum, chaired by myself and Dr Stephanie Snow, Academic Lead for Community Engagement and Involvement, supports all PPIE activities across the Faculty and plays an essential role in driving forward the Faculty’s Public Engagement Action Plan.

The Forum meets four times an academic year (September-July) and members include; PCs, staff and student representatives from across the Faculty working in PPIE.  Further information can be found HERE

Interesting topics from the March 2019 Forum meeting

  • A PC Induction session was held in February. The session received really positive feedback, however attendees commented that they would like to see more specific examples and case studies of PC involvement.  We’ll definitely add this to the next session which is due to be held in the autumn. Attendees received the Faculty’s Being a Public Contributor Induction guide 
    • The next PPIE Celebration will be held in July.  The theme of this year’s event will be “Health and Wellbeing” with the main focus being to give guests the opportunity to network and try out some well-being activities as well as celebrating all things PPIE! 
    • The Forum is launching the first ever Faculty wide Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group.  The focus in the first instance will be offering PPI advice to researchers. 
    • Alan Campbell updated us on his role as the current Lay Chair of Health Innovation Manchester (HInM)’s PPI group.  HInM brings together researchers, industry, NHS and social care partners in order to get new health innovations into the market quickly and effectively.  They often need PCs to help in their work. Visit:  www.healthinnovationmanchester.com

The speaker at the March Forum meeting

Each Forum meeting features a guest speaker update.  Fiona Coll, Faculty HR Partner updated members on the Volunteer Lifecycle project which aims to standardise all areas of PCs’ involvement across the Faculty in both teaching and research.  This project is welcomed by both PCs and staff alike as there seems to have been little consensus in the past and everyone seems to reinvent the wheel with every new project. 

Fab things you might not know about!

Last November, The University of Manchester was awarded a Gold Watermark by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) for engaging local communities in its research, culture and teaching activities. This is the highest honour that can be awarded to an institution as it recognises ‘exceptional strategic leadership of public engagement; high standards of professional support; and excellence in partnership working’.  Isn’t that brilliant! 

Current issue

My personal focus as Co-Chair is to encourage more people to be involved with PPIE.  We all know how rewarding and fascinating it can be and I would like others to be able to experience it.  Our task is to go on a “recruitment drive” and one of my ideas is to set up a pop-up PPIE café, taking our message of involvement into communities.  I’d love to hear your ideas for boosting our PC numbers especially those from currently under-represented and seldom heard groups.  Also, if you can come up with a shorter title for the Forum (clean!) that would be great!!

How to find out more

The SRPE webpages have recently been updated and now include a section on resources, training, events and useful contacts: bmh.manchester.ac.uk/connect/social-responsibility/

For immediate information, The Digest is produced bi-weekly and contains involvement and engagement opportunities, up-coming events and training opportunities.  A Social Responsibility Newsletter is also published twice a year and is a great way of finding out about Social Responsibility in the Faculty. 

After each Forum meeting, I’ll write to let you know what’s been discussed and what’s happening in the PPIE world that might be of interest to you.  I’d also love this to be a two-way conversation and I look forward to there being an active dialogue.  I hope we can get to know one another, share good practice, news and views.  As this is my first attempt at a Blog, I’d be grateful for any (constructive) comments on how it could be improved.

If you would like to get in contact with me or would like to find out further information about any of the above, please email srbmh@manchester.ac.uk or call 0161 275 5186.

Best wishes,

Kay Gallacher

For more information about other PPIE events, training and funding opportunities, you can sign up to our monthly digest, visit our website, follow us on twitter or email srbmh@manchester.ac.uk. For further PPIE resources, visit the Faculty’s PPIE Toolkit.

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