Gary's Experience of DIAMONDS Voice
I joined in 2018 with no previous research experience. My GP asked if I would like to take part in the Dawn2 study, the researcher got in touch and then asked if I would be interested in taking part with Diamonds Voice. On my first visits to the Diamonds voice meetings I was supported by another member who acted as a buddy and teamed up with me.
I have been involved in a number different of the Diamonds research programme, I’ve helped to improve interview questionnaires, and research materials, I've helped to develop the self- management project including co-design workshops of the self-management tools (app). I also help at NHS research events and chair the Diamonds Voice meetings. I have grown in confidence since I’ve been a part of DIAMONDS ,and I am now a Research Ambassador and a governor at my NHS Trust.
I feel really proud of what I have achieved and satisfied to be a part of the research, to watch how the projects have grown. I like being involve from the beginning of the project helping with the design and there is no pressure I can take part as I want . Our life experiences can offer the insights that the researchers need to help improve the services and care for others.