Fighting Blindness recently organised a P.P.I training event which took place on the 9th November in the Brooks Hotel in Dublin.
The aim of this half-day event was to highlight the importance of involving the voice of those affected by vision loss in research and effectively communicating research to the public. The training brought together vision loss researchers from Irish universities (including members of Retina Network Ireland) and members of the Fighting Blindness Visually Impaired Person’s (V.I.P) Network.
During the morning, we had an introduction to P.P.I from Fighting Blindness which discussed the value of P.P.I in research and ways P.P.I can be incorporated throughout the research cycle. This included a Panel Discussion with three invited speakers: Prof Breandán Kennedy (vision loss researcher at the Conway Institute, UCD), Gerry Eastwood (a member of the Fighting Blindness V.I.P Network with experience in P.P.I. activities), and Dylan Keegan (research subject advocate at the Clinical Research Centre, UCD).
The panellists gave the audience some valuable insight into P.P.I in research from their different perspectives and discussed their experiences of P.P.I partnerships, offering advice and answering questions from attendees.
The second half of the event involved an interactive session which focussed on how best to communicate research studies to non-scientific audiences. This involved researchers and V.I.P network members working together in groups to review sample lay summaries for research projects. The room was buzzing with conversation as each group discussed the summaries and highlighted ways that they could be improved for communicating to a non-scientific audience.
The event came to a close with everyone gathering together over lunch to continue their conversations and create new connections.
We would like to sincerely thank all attendees for such an interactive training morning. We would also like to thank our panellists for joining us and sharing their valuable insights to help our attendees learn how to get involved in meaningful P.P.I.
We received some really positive comments and feedback from attendees of the training.
Feedback we received from V.I.P Network members include:
It was concise and informative. I enjoyed meeting the researchers and hearing their point of view.
Click below to hear what another V.I.P Network member and panelist on the day, Gerry Eastwood, had to say about the event:
We also received positive feedback from some RNI researchers:
I enjoyed getting to talk to some of the V.I.P network that attended. It was a good overview and also being able to get some practice in lay abstracts.
Click below to hear what one of our funded researchers, Patrizia Colucci, had to say about the training:
More information about the V.I.P network and Retina Network Ireland (RNI) can be found below:
Fighting Blindness plan to continue to organise events for both members of the V.I.P Network and RNI members in the future. We aim to give more opportunities for people to discuss research and highlight the importance of Public and Patient Involvement in research to ensure the lived experience is at the heart of research carried out.
Click here to read about our previous V.I.P Network Coffee Morning Event.