What it’s like being a member of YPAG KSS – by Catherine


I have been fortunate to attend the Kent, Surrey and Sussex NIHR YPAG in Brighton for almost two years. The group is a fantastically friendly forum which meets each month either online or in person at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton. It is enormously uplifting to take part in sessions, and to come together with other youth members from across the region. The opportunity to hear about amazing medical research is incredible, and it is wonderfully empowering to be able to offer a voice and to shape the design and literature of these projects. During my time with the group, I have had the opportunity to learn and contribute to research on autism, cystic fibrosis, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, asthma, neurological disability, and palliative care amongst many others.

During our last meeting online, we heard from Sophie McGrevey about her phenomenal research to discover the true numbers of children with autism in Kent, Surrey and Sussex and the school support they require. We were given the opportunity to review her questionnaires and to suggest possible recruitment strategies.

We also learned about head injuries from Izabelle Lovgren and her fantastic project at the Podium Institute in Oxford, using advanced MRI to predict how well 11-16 year olds recover from head injuries in sport.

Almost all of the research presented at the YPAG relates to young people and it is such a huge privilege to be able to offer our views, as similar aged individuals, about our experiences and the types of research literature that would appeal to us. Thank you so much to everyone at YPAG for making this such an exciting, fun and fulfilling group.

–  Catherine 🙂