REN (Research Engagement Network programme) Community Research Engagement with Telford Gurdwara page thumbnail

The REN programme aims to increase diversity in research. Following a workshop in Telford, Kumlesh volunteered to become a research champion for the local Sikh community. Eager to engage her community in health and care research, she collaborated with us and Gurdwara leaders.

Gurdwara is a Sikh Place of Worship and Congregation.

The purpose of the REN programme is to increase diversity in research.

Following a workshop held in Telford we were delighted when Kumlesh stepped forward to express her interest in becoming a research champion working with the well-established Sikh community in Telford. Kumlesh was keen to ensure that her community had an opportunity to engage in health and care research, and was keen to work with us to explore how we could make this happen.

Over the following few months we worked with Kumlesh to see how she would like to take this forward in the community.  Kumlesh worked with Gurdwara leaders to explore ways in which health research could be showcased.

A survey was co-produced with Kumlesh and leaders that gave us a better understanding of the community, what their health concerns were, whether they have been involved in research and if they would like to become more involved in open studies. Initial concerns raised were:

  • High blood pressure and regular blood pressure checks
  • Diet and type two diabetes
  • Prostate cancer
  • Dementia

We are now working with the Gurdwara community to consider how to build on these findings.

The Gurdwara leaders have expressed their interest in supporting their community in addressing these issues, including participating in, and applying for research grants. Their commitment to a healthy, happy and sociable community benefits everyone.

Pictured: Kumlesh Kaur, Community Research Champion – supporting the Sikh community in Telford

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