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.
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 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.
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 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 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."
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.