Diabetes Lay Panel: Our nomination for the Engagement & Enterprise Awards
As we open nominations for the 2019 Engagement and Enterprise Awards, showcasing outstanding contributions to pPublic Engagement, Media Relations, Academic Innovation and Student Enterprise, we catch up with a previous finalist to find out, when there's so much else going on, why you should nominate yourself for the Awards.
It will shortly be that time of the year when we are invited to nominate individuals or groups for the QMUL Engagement and Enterprise Awards. This call comes at a busy time of the year when there are many other applications to complete – especially in our busy diabetes research department. But as one of the categories is for Public Engagement I decided to take the time to nominate in 2017 our wonderful group of patients who help us with all our research, and I am so glad we did!
Our diabetes research lay panel have been with us for 11 years. This is really a long time for a group of volunteers to meet, and they also work online too for our diabetes researchers – advising on patient information sheets, lay summaries, protocols etc. Although I am always thanking them for their wonderful work, I thought the nomination would give further thanks and recognition to a hard working group delivering important projects at QMUL, Barts Health NHS Trust and the wider community. So I completed that all important application.
After finding out the exciting news that we were shortlisted in the public involvement category we were pleased to ask two members of the group to be filmed by QMUL about their work. I was initially nervous on how our members would be in front of the camera but they relished the time to reflect on their contribution to diabetes research and what the work meant to them as both individuals and as part of the research group. On the evening of the awards two members and myself attended the aptly named People’s Palace. It was beautifully decorated (see photo) and really added to the importance of the occasion. Our members had an opportunity to network with other groups and to discuss posters produced about public engagement work (see Anne in front of one of the posters). It was a wonderful networking event and the quality of the projects nominated gave real appreciation to all those candidates. Quite frankly, all the groups were winners! We received this lovely plaque which is dusted down at every meeting we have now, and has pride of place (see photo). This event created so much good will and appreciation for our group I would highly recommend others working with the public to apply and get the recognition for all the hard work and effort. Its an opportunity to showcase your group, to meet, exchange ideas and be part of something bigger.