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9th July 2021

Meet the new facilitators at ENRICH CymruMeet the new facilitators at ENRICH Cymru

The Enabling Research In Care Homes (ENRICH) Cymru network was established in 2018 to support and facilitate the growth of life-changing health and social care research in care homes across Wales.

Since its creation, the network has recruited 22 care homes across Wales and supported the delivery and facilitation of 15 research studies. With momentum and clear guidance from the care home sector and members of the public, ENRICH Cymru is becoming a network which is growing in importance across the country.

In 2020, ENRICH Cymru was awarded funding through Health and Care Research Wales with a key aim of facilitating the delivery and development of research in care homes and expanding the network to improve the lives of residents and staff in care homes across Wales.

With a fresh new vision for 2021, ENRICH Cymru has grown its team by welcoming two new research facilitators. The new team will help develop the network, encouraging the exchange of ideas and foster the co-creation of research by bringing together researchers with care home staff, residents and families.

Dr Sondra Butterworth from Corwen in Denbighshire joins ENRICH Cymru on a part time basis alongside her work as cofounder and director of Rare Qol a social enterprise which supports the Rare Disease Community and underrepresented groups.

She said: “The past year has especially really shone a light on the importance of wellbeing and quality of life something I have been passionate about for years.

“I have so many goals and ideas for the future of ENRICH Cymru. I’m eager to start sharing stories of the staff and residents of care homes and working together with the wider healthcare system to encourage and support as much life changing research as possible to improve the lives of those in care across Wales.”

Dr Emma Richards also joins ENRICH Cymru on a part time basis alongside her work specialising in dementia care as a researcher at the Centre for Ageing and Dementia (CADR). Emma has worked in residential homes, has a PhD to characterise Vascular Cognitive Impairment and has been published internationally in several journals.

She said: “I’ve worked within the care sector for many years, before moving across to research, this role is such a good fit, bringing together my interests in cognitive impairment and getting public involved in research.

“There’s still work to be done in Wales to encourage as many organisations as possible conduct social care research, it is important to remind researchers and those who work in care homes that residents living in residential care have the same opportunities to take part in research as people living in their own homes”.

The ENRICH Cymru Network is co-hosted by the pan-Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) and Health and Care Research Wales Support & Delivery Centre, both part of the Health and Care Research Wales community.

Stephanie Green, ENRICH Cymru coordinator said: “This is a really exciting next step for the network here in Wales. The growing team means we can now increase our capacity to raise awareness of the value and impact of research, particularly in the context of a pandemic, as well as support more care homes to develop research which is of relevance to their home

“At present, we have a few opportunities for care homes in Wales to be a part of research including looking into preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and its severity in care homes through a study called PROTECT and supporting Welsh care homes to be part of the PRINCIPLE study which looks at the effectiveness of treatments to reduce the severity of symptoms – as well as other studies in the pipelines.”

If you are a Care Home Manager in Wales and would be interested in joining ENRICH Cymru network visit the webpage.