My research story

Real volunteers share their experiences of taking part

Volunteers are essential to our work.  Members of the public are our greatest strength and we could not do our work without their help. 

Here, we share stories from members of the public across the UK who are involved in many different types of research.


Arnold, Neath

Arnold was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and by the spring of 2016 had surgery and started on the
Add Aspirin research study.

Arnold had has always seen the benefit of research and finding new treatments, especially after his twin brother passed away from AIDS in 1994.


Monica, West Norfolk

Monica joined the BISIL study in 2023 when the leg ulcer she developed wouldn't heal with antibiotics.

She was treated with a new type of wound dressing. And after less than a year, Monica is already noticing an improvement - with her wound now half the size.


Alka, Buckinghamshire

Alka Pandey took part in the LOLIPOP 100K study at Wycombe Hospital in Buckinghamshire. The study is inviting people of South Asian heritage to undergo tests to help researchers understand why conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are more common in this group.


Alexis, Surrey

Alexis Faulkner volunteered for the REACH Pregnancy Circle Trial. This trial brings together groups of 8 to 12 pregnant women who are at similar stages of pregnancy and live near each other.

The study is hoping to understand how a woman-centered, community-based environment can improve antenatal care.


Jordan, London

After a sudden diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, Jordan Downes made it his mission to learn as much as possible about the condition and get involved with research.

Almost 2 years on from his diagnosis, Jordan is back to enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle - thanks in part to a NIHR funded research study.


Mercy, Lambeth

Mercy Njoku was invited to take part in the NIHR-supported HEAL-COVID trial after being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in February 2022.

"The HEAL-COVID trial was the first time I took part in research that directly affected me, and I would do the same again in the future to help others."


Dan, Oxford

Dan got involved in mental health research since he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. "Promoting mental health research is essential to help others benefit from its findings and address the stigma attached to mental health."


Nicholas, London

Having worked for a private ambulance service for over twenty years, Nicholas caught COVID-19 and became a patient himself, so he signed up to take part in research.  


Debra, Shropshire

Debra is a fundraiser based in Shropshire. She heard about a study into Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and asked her specialist if she could take part to see if it could help relieve her hip pain.


David, London

David is urging people to help find the answers to beating dementia by volunteering to take part in vital health research after completing a study involving an app. 


Jane, Suffolk

Jane benefitted from the new treatment for a debilitating condition that affects her hearing and balance and wants people to take part in research to help. 


Tina, London

Tina decided to put herself forward to take part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial. “The process of being in the study was eye opening and lovely”.


Crad, Milton Keynes

A retired engineer and now research champion based in Milton Keynes, Crad has been using an app developed by the University of Oxford for Alzheimer’s Disease.


Grace, London

Grace has cerebral palsy, and doctors thought she may never walk or talk, but thanks to taking part in a research study, she is now living an independent life.


Kerry, Willenhall

Kerry talks about why she decided to donate her plasma for research after recovering from COVID-19, and wants to encourage others to do the same.


Sarah, London

Sarah was committed to the idea of giving blood as a blood transfusion had helped in her recovery. She heard about a vaccine trial which was a way of helping through the COVID-19 pandemic.