NIHR CRN: Yorkshire and Humber Celebration Event

Yesterday I was so thrilled to be asked to speak at the Yorkshire and Humber Celebration event in Leeds. I’ve been down to London so often lately that it was really nice to have a short train journey for a change!

The event was held in the city centre and Dipika had kindly sent me a map along with a picture of the venue, which always helps enormously.

When I got there it was full to the brim and I was glad to be met by Dipika who showed me into the main room which was away from the crowds. I met Chris Oxnard – Deputy Chief Operating Officer & Research Delivery Manager for the area. She kindly brought me the much needed cuppa – mainly as an aid to getting my hands warm as the weather was soooo cold and I’d arrived frozen! I even met a neighbour of mine – surreal experience for both of us!

The aim of the first half of the day was to celebrate the successes of research in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. There were researchers there from all areas and involved in all conditions.  I was one of 4 speakers, the others being Sir Andrew Cash – Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospital; Dr Matt Cooper, Life Science Development Director; Professor Trevor Sheldon from York University and me. Numbers looked in excess of 100 people – all passionate about research.

It was fascinating to see their plans for the future and it was plainly obvious that this region has a rich resource of expertise in research. They spoke of being innovative and finding new forms of delivery design – both of which are vital when thinking of future research. I forget which speaker mentioned it, but I thought it was pertinent to raise the issue that there are so many targets in the NHS but how many Trusts report on the number of patients recruited into research – no one knew of any…………..

My speech was around my passion for research, the challenges we face around recruitment of volunteers and the important role of ‘Join Dementia Research’ database. I ended my speech by reminding them of the valuable work they’re undertaking and the impact they have on people like me.

They were very kind with their comments afterwards in person and via Twitter and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you all for inviting me:)

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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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