NIHR Reaching Out Project

An image of people reading a booklet

NIHR Reaching Out Project

We want greater community engagement in determining research priorities and a stronger relationship between local NIHR organisations and those communities.

As a step towards this INVOLVE and the Research Design Service (RDS) launched the pilot Reaching Out programme in September 2018. The purpose of the programme is to encourage the development of new public involvement and engagement relationships, and new or more effective approaches to building relationships, within communities in the RDS localities. The emphasis is on parts of the community who are not usually, or consistently, involved in health, social care and public health research. In doing this work, the partnership hopes to enable public and patient involvement and engagement workers across NIHR and other settings to work together more to achieve common objectives.

RDS East of England were awarded funding as one of four projects across England. Our project based in North was established in partnership with members of our NIHR Public Involvement Collaborative East of England, School for Health and Social Care University of Essex along with local community partners including: Jaywick Neighbourhood Team Tendring District Council, Refugee Action Colchester, Firstsite Gallery Colchester, Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services and Healthwatch Essex . The aim of the project is to build a new and sustainable health and social care research partnership in North East Essex with children and young people whose voices are seldom heard and create pathways for active and ongoing engagement, involvement and participation in health and wellbeing research.


Progress Reports

No. 1 December 2018

No. 2 April 2019



Feeling grateful: the day after the ‘Young Minds Inspiring Health & Wellbeing Research Event’

Building inclusive and creative research partnerships with young people


Molly Brooke – young partner speaking about her involvement with the project:


View full event photography below which includes images from Young Minds Inspiring Health & Wellbeing Event, Firstsite Colchester (June 2019), Tendring District Council Community Ambassadors Celebration Event, Princes Theatre Clacton (July 2019) and Young Minds Rethink Research, University of Essex (18/01/20):

Event photography –


Young Minds Rethink Research Workshop

On Saturday 18th January we held the first of a series of co-design thinking workshops on the topic of building research partnerships around children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing needs. The workshops are funded by NIHR INVOLVE as part of the NIHR Reaching Out Project in partnership with the University of Essex. We are so grateful that fifty people attended and mostly stayed fully engaged until the end of the day. There were lively and challenging discussion about the needs for research as a result of such a diverse mix of people including: children, young people, parents, voluntary sector, NHS, local authority and academics from different disciplines (Computer science and electronic engineering, psychology, health and social care, sports science). Watch this space for a report of the outputs and next steps from this workshop. In the meantime, enjoy this short film below, capturing the atmosphere of the day.

Please feel free to share and tweet #rethinkresearchCYP  – Thank you!

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