Member’s story 2021: Family Carers Ireland
Becoming a member of HRCI in 2020 has been hugely beneficial to Family Carers Ireland’s research function. As a charity with limited research resources, having access to the network of research charities, guides and workshops have been critical to the strengthening of our research function.
Since joining Family Carers Ireland as Research Officer in 2019, I have focused on building and coordinating research involvement and engagement among family carers, researchers and other stakeholders. Becoming a member of HRCI in 2020 has given me the tools to do this well. Of particular value early on was the ‘Making a start: A toolkit for research charities to begin a PPI relationship’ guide. This guide alongside the support, input and encouragement from HRCI, the network of charities and the PPI Shared Learning Group gave me the foundation I needed to formalise our PPI work, drive the establishment of a PPI panel of family carers and build effective strategies around PPI for my organisation. It has also been great to be able to share our learnings and experience and discuss issues with other research charities through the PPI Shared Learning Group.
In 2021, Family Carers Ireland focused on strengthening our research governance and embedding good decision-making in all our research activities. Attending HRCI’s ‘Research Governance’ workshop in 2020 was really helpful for understanding the foundations of strong research governance in the charity sector, particularly in the development of a research strategy. Ensuring that all our research activities are founded upon a clear and consistent ethical framework was incredibly important to us. HRCI were really supportive as we developed our ethical framework, offering constructive insight into addressing issues we encountered and introducing us to other member charities who had encountered similar challenges. This has led us strengthen our knowledge and practices and develop strong research governance.
I look forward to continuing to support and contribute to the work of HRCI, learning from and sharing our experiences with member charities and promoting a dynamic, impactful, patient and carer-led research culture across Ireland.
Family Carers Ireland