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The University of Southampton
Primary Care Research Centre Patient & Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)

Finding Out Together

We aim to involve and engage diverse groups in health research in an accessible way through community outreach.

Finding out together

The Finding Out Together work started with Family Hub Pickles (formerly known as Sure Start) in the West Locality of Southampton in 2019. We are looking forward to building new partnerships, working with community leaders to create welcoming and safe spaces for finding out together about research.

Creating strong connections and trust within any community requires significant time and dedication. We are working to establish enduring relationships with communities underserved by research, with the same message..

…breakthroughs in new health research can’t happen unless we talk with as many people as possible.

Every month, we facilitate a parent forum in the community.

Community Forum

Our goal is to spark interest in health research.

We aim to break down barriers, connecting people with researchers working on topics important to them.

By consistently holding these forums, we're not just building relationships but also providing chances for the community to learn about health research and actively get involved in research.

Our Listening Cafes usually meet for three to four weeks to focus a particular research project.

A follow-on session explores how people’s input has influenced the study and provides an update on study progress.

Listening Cafe

In each two-hour session, we focus on building trust through sharing food, providing creative activities, and prompting informal conversations.

We work with researchers to guide these conversations related to the research, exploring what matters to the community.

This ensures that everyone has a meaningful experience and feels listened to.

These are just some of the positive comments from researchers who have presented and parents who have come to the listening café.

Adam Geraghty

'My experience of working with different routes to engage people was really positive'

'I really enjoyed the prospect of being able to reach out beyond the more common PPI structures that we often work within, to have feedback from a range of people with different experiences'

'I now think that reaching out in a range of ways to diverse communities is critical. It will help to ensure the research we do is most likely to have a benefit for a broad range of our society'

Adam Geraghty , Associate Professor of Psychology and Behaviour Medicine (April 2022 and April 2023)

'There is such a lot of value in being able to have in depth open and honest face to face conversations with parents who have lived experience'

'It enabled me to have their perspective at the front of my mind when I was reading or creating my intervention and I believe it makes the resulting intervention more relatable and accessible to a range of parents'

'The format being relaxed and sharing food together also really allowed me to connect with parents who might otherwise have been underserved by research'

Amy Dobson, PhD Student and Ingrid Muller , Associate Professor of Health Psychology (October 2022 and October 2023)

Amy Dobson
Ingrid Muller

'The team were really friendly and welcoming'

'I liked how relaxed the sessions were'

'I liked seeing what we said last week put into an action plan'

'A safe place to share everything and anything'

'It felt like we were helping to make a difference'

'Enjoyed sharing positive experiences'

'I learned that people can be listened to and make a positive change'

Parents at Pickles Family Hub, Southampton (2021-23)

Read our strategy; written with the Family Hub community. It reflects our values for engaging with underserved communities.

Working Together
Opportunities for everyone
Support and Learning

For further information, please contact Sonia Newman , Public Partnerships Manager and Kate Henaghan-Sykes Public Partnerships & Comms Officer

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