Community research in Oxfordshire receives a boost

Community-led work to tackle the causes of health inequalities across Oxfordshire has received a boost after Oxfordshire received one of 25 grants from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to set up a community research network.

The £25,000 grant supports the development of community research in Oxfordshire and provides the opportunity to bid for further funding later in the new year.

The funding will help Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team to further develop their award-winning approach to research into what makes people healthy, helping to improve health and tackle inequalities across the county.

Working alongside Aspire Oxfordshire, Banbury Muslim Mosque Society, Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action and Oxfordshire Mind, the funding will help build a network to support the development community-led research strategy for Oxfordshire, with a focus on the wider determinants of health and inequality.

Dr Adam Briggs, Deputy Director of Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We are really excited to be part of this network bringing together community groups and volunteer organisations as well as local health care organisations and universities.

 “Over the next six months, the network will run a series of community events and workshops to learn about what research means to local residents and to better understand what community research is already taking place. This will put us in a great position to develop a community-led research strategy to better understand what drives poor health and inequalities in Oxfordshire and what we can do about it.”

Laura Price, Chief Executive Officer at Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action, said: “We’re delighted to be involved in such an important project bringing communities and their own voice and experience into research through the creation of a countywide network with so many great partners.”

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive Officer at Aspire Oxfordshire, said: “Community-led research is vital if we are to tackle the wider determinants of health and inequality effectively in Oxfordshire.

“We’re pleased to support this new development effort because we can see how it is moving absolutely in the right direction: it will help provide opportunities for engagement; it will foster a partnership approach to build trust and enable co-production of services; and it will encourage a wider range of people to be actively involved in service design and delivery.”  

Jess Willsher, Chief Executive Officer at Oxfordshire Mind, said: “For too long, decisions have been made for people rather than with them, contributing to the perpetuation of health inequalities. We’re delighted to be part of meaningful work that redresses the power imbalance, and to listen to and learn from people experiencing health inequalities. Working together, we can create positive and meaningful change, leading to healthier futures for all.

Yasmin Kaduji, Project Lead at Banbury Mosque, said: “We are keen to work with with the wider BAME community at Banbury Mosque and make them part of the research process to better understand inequalities. It’s such a pleasure to work with partners collaboratively, and together we will bring changes for the better that will lead to a better future for everyone.

Organisations and individuals who want to get involved can find out more by contacting the public health team at public.health@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Find out more about the programme, and the work of UKRI by visiting the UKRI website.

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