‘Together in Research’ Building Trust About Research in Our Community
On Wednesday 26th July, ten representatives and service users from the charity Can-Survive UK (CSUK) visited the Withington Cancer Campus to continue our collaborative work to break down barriers preventing access to research and co-create mutually beneficial projects.
The day gave our visitors the opportunity to find out more about research at the MCRC, a chance to visit our labs and take part in activities, and to open an honest discussion about the community’s perspectives of research, and shared solutions going forward.
Cancer is a diverse and complex disease that one in two of us will be diagnosed with at some point in our lifetime. But cancer does not affect everyone equally; some cancers disproportionately affect members of different communities more than others. Prostate cancer for instance will affect 1 in 4 Black men as opposed to 1 in 8 men from other backgrounds [Prostate Cancer UK].
However, many Black and other minority ethnic communities are historically under-represented in research across multiple levels, from scientists and researchers through to participants in clinical trials. [CRUK, ASCO]
Recognising this need for change, the Manchester Cancer Research Centre and the Manchester-based charity Can Survive UK are collaborating on developing mutually beneficial research projects that tackle the challenges faced by this community.
A great start to breaking down barriers, building trust, which will hopefully lead to better inclusion of and increased participation participation in clinical trials and research by members of the Black community.
Founder and CEO of Can Survive UK
We’re excited to see this collaboration continue as we continue to build relationships with key community partners. Visits between our teams are critical to co-creating research projects that directly address issues that people across Greater Manchester face.
Prof. Robert Bristow
Director of the MCRC
This latest visit to the MCRC aimed to provide representatives with first-hand experience of cancer research by meeting researchers and get hands-on experience within our laboratories. In addition, this meeting continued our open dialogue about the challenges the Black African and Black Caribbean and other communities face when accessing cancer services and perceptions of research.
“A great start to breaking down barriers, building trust, which will hopefully lead to better inclusion of and increased participation by members of the Black community.” Marcella Turner, Founder & CEO, Can-Survive UK
“A really good event that if built upon will be the bridge between clinical research and Black community engagement.” Paul Mattis, Can Survive UK Trustee
“We are so pleased to open up the centre to community partners and look forward to working together to co-create research projects with the communities we serve. Visits such as these to our research centres are critical in breaking down any barriers and demystifying what it means to take part in research.” Simon Reeds, Postgraduate Programme Manager, MCRC
“We’re excited to see this collaboration continue as we continue to build relationships with key community partners. Visits between our teams are critical to co-creating research projects that directly address issues that people across Greater Manchester face.” Professor Robert Bristow, Director of the MCRC
Can Survive UK’s visit to the MCRC follows on from a Cultural Competency Training session delivered by members of the charity in June. Here, members of our strategic team as well as researchers and leadership explored the role we can play in developing cultural competency and a positive, inclusive research culture. We heard first-hand the challenges faced by the Black African, Black Caribbean community and worked together to build a personal and organisational action plan to implement process and operational changes.
As our collaboration continues, we look forward to identifying opportunities to improve the inclusion and access of communities in research.
Links to useful articles