Hi I’m Sally and I have been with Diamonds from the beginning since 2015.
I have found working with Diamonds very rewarding. I have seen projects develop from prioritising research questions through to creating the self -management app. We aspire to fully joined up healthcare with quality of life for all. Also developing Self-management skills are vital as our challenges are for the rest of our lives.
In 2015 we started to research exploring issues facing those with diabetes and mental health challenges. The outcomes were decided for the clinical trials and the grant applications followed. We have been involved in the designing of the diamonds (Brand) logos, the consent forms, the questionnaires and the interview topics guides; paying attention to the text style, and ensuring its appropriate to all. Over the last year we developed the a new self management app, which evolved from the co-design workshops where we developed the user friendly characters for an animation story board. Extensive collaboration ensured our lived experiences and challenges were understood. Our voices were listened to and professionals and service users all had valued contributions. We helped to develop ppi training so everyone understood the role of PPI, how funding applications worked, how research is helpful and how our contributions are valued. Also, we helped write for a journal publication and we received runners up for a MCPin award 2020. Since, We have done frequent zoom meeting through the covid 19 period and joined a lunchtime presentation sharing our experiences with the researchers at the Leeds university.
Diamonds Voice has become a very welcoming group and expanded with everyone contributing their lived experiences and sharing a wealth of knowledge of their day to day challenges. Conversation is the key to making successful changes both in research and in our lives. The Diamonds annual celebration reinforces our contribution, which isn’t tokenistic all! The researchers, clinicians’ stakeholders, public and patients ( or DV members) are invited to hear the year’s achievements. It’s a very proud event for us all! Through taking part, Diamond Voice Members have gained confidence and leadership skills . Some of us are Patient Research Champions and have spread the word of what great PPI can do.
It’s rewarding to have the chance to influence and contribute to the collaboration of services and make improvements for future aspirations. Everyone can contribute at their own level . There is something for everyone to help with.