Name: Alison Thomson
Job Title: Research Service Design Co-ordinator
Department: Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science
Type of Engagement: Patient Involvement, Science Education, Inter-disciplinary Collaboration, Sci/Art, Research Blogs
Publics: Patient Communities, Young Children
Alison works within the Barts MS Team to design and co-ordinate engagement activities that communicate the complex science of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to others. The team do this through a wide range of projects and initiatives including:
Barts MS Research Blog
Disseminates research from the Barts MS Research group and collaborating research groups, to around 6,000-9,000 readers a day, with approximately 180,000 views a month. The blog has many recurrent readers who comment on blog posts and engage in conversation with many posts providing valuable Q&A sections after each post.
An educational programme where children from the age of 6-12 years old with a parent with MS can learn more about the condition. The sessions involve interactive activities designed to engage children with scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way, using objects such as strawberry laces and pomegranates. Information and activities are also available through an interactive website.
Barts MS Advisory Group
A group of MS patients and their families are actively involved with the team to assist and advise throughout the research process, from the setting up of research questions to making sure results are disseminated to the wider public. Through active participation the group will make sure what the team are doing and the way they do it will be beneficial and ultimately reach out and speak to people with MS in the best way.
An opportunity for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), family, friends and carers to receive updates on current advice and guidance for self-management, details of what is happening in research and meet MS Health Care Providers in an informal setting.