University event to explore how Covid-19 has changed public perception of carers

Fri 20 November, 2020
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The University of Bedfordshire’s popular Beds Talks series returns in virtual form with an event hosted by the Institute for Health Research that will focus on the role of carers in the community.

Led by Senior Research Fellow, Dr Emma Wilkinson, this free public event will feature academics, practitioners and the public, discussing amongst other things, how Covid-19 may have changed how people think about family or informal carers and their role in society.

This Beds Talks event will take place 10am-12pm on Carers’ Rights Day (26th November 2020) via Zoom. Carers, students, volunteers and curious members of public are all welcome to sign up and be a part of this fascinating conversation – simply register for the talk through Eventbrite and attendees will be sent a link to join on the day.

Event:

Beds Talks: Beds Cares!

Time: 10am – 12pm, Thursday 26th November 2020
Location: Zoom – Links will be sent to registered individuals
Tickets: Register for your free ticket here

Informal carers who look after friends and loved ones will be the focus, and the audience will learn more about local carer support organisations such as Carers in Bedfordshire and the Disability Resource Centre.

Academic contributions will be presented by Dr Yannis Pappas, Reader in Health Service Delivery & Organisation at the University of Bedfordshire, Dr Jitka Vseteckova from the Open University and Professor Marie-Pierre Moreau of Anglia Ruskin University.

Attendees will also have the chance to share their own experiences of caring for family and friends including during the pandemic.

Dr Emma Wilkinson, who works with the Institute for Health Research at the University's Putteridge Bury campus, commented:

I’m really looking forward to our Beds Talks event. It is great that the University is hosting it on Carers’ Rights Day as it gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate the work that informal carers do, acknowledge the difficulties they face and think about ways research can help improve carer wellbeing in the future.

During the Covid-19 pandemic our general awareness of people who give care has gone up for paid care workers such as doctors, nurses and care home staff. But it’s been an incredibly challenging time for informal carers too, whose contribution sometimes falls under the radar. We want to raise awareness of all those informal or family carers in our community who provide care day-in day-out for loved ones and think of ways research could help to promote their health and wellbeing in the future.

Dr Emma Wilkinson previously held the position of Chair at the Carers in Bedfordshire charity and hopes this instalment in the Beds Talks series will encourage other charities and carer support organisations in the region to collaborate with the University of Bedfordshire in this important area for research. She continued:

We are lucky to have two carer support organisations contribute to this event to tell us about the fantastic work going on in Bedfordshire, a lot of this is done in partnership with volunteers and other organisations, including dementia charities and other mental health charities and we would love for them to participate and work with us in the future too.

All carers and carer support organisations and groups are invited to take part with us in this event which we hope will be the start of a conversation and research partnership that is inclusive from the beginning.

Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, will be leading a Q&A session as part of the virtual event. He said:

Our Institute is proud to host a programme of research that focuses upon the role of carers. I am delighted that we have this opportunity to showcase our research with the public and a range of relevant carer stakeholders.

The Beds Cares event is a celebration of the informal carers in the Bedfordshire community and it gives us and the public a chance to discuss research and ideas around the importance of carer wellbeing moving forward.

Now in its fourth year, the University of Bedfordshire’s Beds Talks series are a programme of community-facing events that are driven by topical issues and current University research.

Register to join Beds Talks: Beds Cares! now via Eventbrite.

For further information about PhD and Research Mentorship opportunities with the Institute for Health Research, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/ihr 

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