Friends of CR&T: A new network to shape dementia research

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The UK DRI exists to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. By involving people who have lived experience in our research, we can ensure new treatments and technologies meet the needs of those affected. Whilst the UK DRI has always engaged people with lived experience in its research, a new initiative at the UK DRI Care Research & Technology Centre aims to take this one step further.

This month, the Centre launched its brand-new network, Friends of the Care Research & Technology Centre (Friends of CR&T), which will promote even stronger partnerships between researchers, clinicians, and people with lived experience, creating a community where all can learn from one another.

It was fantastic to see so many people from all over the UK interested in the work of the UK DRI’s Care Research & Technology Centre. It was even better that we had the majority sign up to be a Friend of CR&T to shape the work the Centre undertakes, making people the heart of what we do. Danielle Wilson, Centre Manager of the UK DRI Care Research & Technology Centre
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The Centre invited people affected by dementia, family members and carers to a special evening event to celebrate the launch of the new network. At the event, attendees heard short talks from researchers at the Centre, participated in lively group discussions on key issues for research to address, and shared their thoughts on future directions for the initiative.

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Spearheaded by Sophie Horrocks, a designer at the Care Research & Technology Centre and Imperial’s Helix Centre, the network has three key aims:

- To enable anyone affected by dementia to get involved in research at the Centre

- To create a community for professionals and people with lived experience

- To allow members and researchers to learn from each other to improve dementia care.

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Sophie said:

"Although this is only the first step in building this community, I've been so inspired by how many people are interested in joining the community. Three people separately shared that the event had given them hope - which beautifully symbolises what I hope this community can become; a positive space for researchers and people affected by dementia to learn from each other and work together to help improve the lives of those living with dementia.”

Find out more about the network and how you can get involved.

Article published: 23 October 2023
Image credits: Dan Weill