I’m a retired British Telecom manager with a technical background. I’ve always liked to know how things work having trained on electromechanical and electronic equipment.
In the 1970s I became a keen sailor and navigator (before the days of GPS) and made many foreign sea passages to the continent and Mediterranean with my wife and two sons. I’ve always been pretty active playing tennis, badminton, squash and more recently short mat bowls and senior keep fit class.
Past abuse of my body has resulted in a replacement hip joint, worn out knees, hearing loss from loud bangs (I used to be in the Territorial Army), skin cancer from too much sun and some prostate issues - because that’s what men often get at my age.
My Ear Nose and Throat consultant at Medway Hospital asked me if I would be willing to be contacted by the Research & Development department after I told him how interesting I had found an article he had written in the “News@Medway” magazine about research and I told him about my interest in new technology.
I’ve benefited from some superb medical treatment that’s been the result of previous researchers’ hard work and dedication, so I thought it only fair to try and give a small bit back. After all, I’ve probably gained far more time and quality of life than I’d ever be able to give back.
How else will solutions be found without good, well-documented research projects where information can be shared to find better ways to improve quality of life, cure, prevent or minimise the effect of illnesses.
I attend regular meetings of the Research & Development team at my local hospital where progress for current studies and new research projects are discussed. I’ve participated in promotional events and have helped to recruit volunteers for a vascular study too.
Give it a try. You are under no pressure to continue if you find out it’s not for you. You will meet some very nice NHS staff and academics who will make you feel very welcome. Your views will be valued and appreciated by some very clever people.