Blogs 25.08.2023

Showcasing applied research to benefit our region

Looking forward to the ARC East of England Showcase on 20 September, our Director Professor Wendy Wills reflects on her first year of leadership and how projects around the region have been improving health and social care for our communities.

ARC EoE Director Professor Wendy Wills

"Working with a regional network of brilliant people delivering applied research and developing the next generation of researchers is a great privilege, and I want to thank all our colleagues and everyone collaborating with us. It’s been an exciting year and we have been inviting people to shape the future of our research programmes to ensure they meet the needs of our communities."


Professor Wendy Wills, ARC East of England Director

Walking and talking with people around the region and meeting communities has been a real highlight for me. They shared insights that will help guide us, including the need to improve support for carers, mental health and wellbeing, and to understand the challenges for people living with multiple conditions.

I also learnt a lot from visiting our partner universities in the region, talking to a variety of researchers, students and community organisations about ways we can support each other to undertake research effectively. We must ensure we are focused on the most critical issues over ARC East of England’s next phase and that our research can make the biggest difference in areas where it is most needed, aligned to our key themes.

The Showcase offers an opportunity to recognise what our researchers and collaborators have achieved across all themes, but also for people to connect and meet us as well, in a convenient online space where no one need worry about travel or parking! Feedback from our members shows that people appreciate a mixture of virtual and face to face meeting opportunities, and we hope that this event will be accessible to people all around our region and further afield to join us for the morning and afternoon sessions, or to drop in as they can around busy schedules.

This event is open to anyone who would like to hear more about our work, including academics and researchers, health and social care professionals as well as provider and voluntary organisations, community partners and members of the public.
The programme will offer something for everyone with a chance to participate in panel discussions with presenters, learn what the ARC does and how to get involved.

In the morning, we look at how projects are supporting people to live well in the east of England, by addressing regional inequalities in health and the health needs of unpaid carers through the award-winning Carer Support Nurse pilot.

We will also focus on working with young people in the region to improve early identification with FAIR treatment and access to timely mental health care following the challenges of the pandemic. Learn how the Working on Worries project is equipping local mental health practitioners to train school pastoral staff and parents to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy brief interventions to help children manage anxiety.

ARC EoE projects are making a real-world impact to change practice and we will explore how to get research into health and social care services with implementation projects tackling opioid deprescribing and making research more accessible with appropriate formats for different audiences, including people with learning disabilities in Beyond Words.

In the afternoon, researchers will share how they have been engaging with Traveller and Roma communities that face barriers to access healthcare and research and the Community of Practice created in response to this. We will also explore the evaluation of cultural interventions which address health inequalities faced by ethnically diverse communities and how we involve and engage patients and the public in research across the region.

Find out how ARC EoE supports health and social care professionals and third sector partners to increase their research skills and knowledge, to undertake projects with our Fellowship programme. Current and previous Fellows will share their experiences and demonstrate how the programme is supporting their career development.

ARC EoE and its previous iterations (CLAHRC Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and CLAHRC East of England) have evolved since 2008 and will continue to do so as we develop our research programme further, and the final session will look at long term projects which continue to inspire new ones, building on evidence and best practice.

"We invite everyone to learn about our journey over the years but also guide and be part of our work in future, as we plan new directions!"


Professor Wendy Wills, ARC East of England Director

The virtual ARC EoE Showcase takes place on Wednesday 20 September with a morning session from 10am to 12pm and afternoon session from 2pm to 4pm.