A new research project support by the NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber is beginning in Bradford with the goal of empowering local communities to conduct research. The Co-Production and Peer Research (CoPPeR) Network brings together researchers from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with community organisations such as Abilities Together and Connecting Roma CIC.
The COPPER project aims to develop a sustainable model that enables diverse community groups, including refugees, Roma, Pakistani and White British communities, to participate as co-researchers. Alongside lead researcher Shahid Islam and co-lead Professor Rosemary McEachan, peer researchers will design and carry out research studies on priorities they identify as important to their communities.
Findings will be shared with decision-makers to advocate for changes that can reduce inequalities and improve wellbeing. The CoPPeR model also intends to build capacity amongst communities and partner organisations to continue conducting research beyond this initial project.
According to Tahira Amin of Abilities Together, a key motivation for participating is "to learn more in the field of research as well as encourage local people to engage in research activities." The project ultimately hopes to embed community-led research within existing regional and national research infrastructure.
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