Published On: 14 May 2024

Earlier this month, our Parent Advisory Groups came together to reflect on the transformative journey of the Together study led by UCL. Since its inception in 2019, many of the parents in these advisory groups have supported this research through demonstrating an unwavering commitment, boundless energy, and infectious passion for advancing the study’s objectives.

The Parent Advisory Groups delved into the pivotal role these parents have played in shaping various aspects of the study, ranging from recruitment strategies to data collection methodologies, rigorous analysis, and even navigating the challenges presented by a global pandemic. In their own words, they emphasised that without the Parent Advisory Groups, the study simply wouldn’t be possible.

Beyond their instrumental contributions to the study, parents shared personal anecdotes highlighting how their involvement in the advisory groups has been a catalyst for personal growth. Many spoke of newfound confidence, meaningful connections forged with fellow participants, and a deep sense of fulfillment derived from giving back to a community that had once supported them through the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) programme.

Kelly from Halifax explains:

“Seven years ago, enrolling in the course instilled a newfound confidence. Delving into my family’s history illuminated the roots of my parenting style. Through it, I made pivotal decisions for my children’s education and became an advocate for their mental health. The journey empowered me as a parent, driving me to ensure that others have access to this transformative experience. This programme isn’t just for crisis moments; it lays the groundwork for the future providing the necessary steps needed before chaos ensues.”

Remarkably, participation in the advisory groups has opened doors to a myriad of opportunities for these parents. From serving on advisory boards and assuming trusteeship roles to embarking on entrepreneurial ventures, facilitating parenting groups, and engaging in other research endeavours, the ripple effects of their involvement extend far beyond the confines of the study itself.

Looking ahead, we are looking forward to our next meeting in July, where we will delve deeper into the study’s findings and strategize on how best to disseminate these insights to a global audience.

Stay tuned as we continue to champion the transformative power of community-driven research and collaborative action.