ARVAC events

ARVAC Annual lecture 2019

Engendering trust in evidence. Co-production – making community research work’

17 July 2019, 13:30—15:30
The Halls, St Andrews Plain
Norwich, NR3 1AU

Has trust in evidence really gone and has ‘fake news’ won the day? If recent politics are anything to go by, then despite a strong desire to bring those who make decisions and those who are affected by them closer together, it seems that the gap between them has widened instead. There appears to be a lack of trust in what others are saying or presenting as evidence.

How can we ensure trust in evidence, trust in the institutions providing the evidence and trust in those using the evidence to make decisions? Will it help to engender trust, if the evidence is clearly based on and linked to community experience? How can that be best achieved?

ARVAC is worldwide the oldest national association in the field of community research, its mission to bring together academics, practitioners and policy makers. It is fully volunteer-led and run. We are delighted to jointly host this event with the University of East Anglia. As in previous years, the ARVAC Annual Lecture offers the chance to discuss key issues affecting voluntary sector organisations.

This year’s focus is on co-production and the role volunteers play in making community research work. We look forward to hearing from distinguished local experts examining the views of funders, service delivery organisations and the community.

13:30 – 13:35   Welcome: Fiona Poland
13:35 – 13:45   Introduction: Brian Horner
13:45 – 14:05   Heather Edwards
14:05 – 14:25   David Walker
14.25 – 14:45   Jeff Prosser
14:45 – 15:15   Q&A
15:15 – 15:30   Closing: Fiona Poland

The event is free but places are limited so please book a place by registering on eventbrite.

ARVAC AGM and annual conference 2018

On Tuesday 13 November 2018 we held our 2018 AGM and annual conference, and also celebrated our 40th anniversary. As part of this we also re-launched our resource for community researchers, Getting Started

The theme of the conference was Spaces for Community Action. An exciting range of speakers joined us for a topical, timely and important afternoon exploring citizen engagement in parks, typologies of spaces in community action and the role of community spaces for the future of communities.

Speakers included:

You can find out more about the event and download presentations here

2018 also saw us mark our 40th birthday and the re-launch of Getting Started, our resource for community researchers. We took some time out to pause and celebrate ARVAC’s work and to consider what lies ahead. We also heard from the researcher leading the re-vamp of our most popular resource for community researchers. 

ARVAC Annual lecture

Patient and Public involvement – the role of the community in health and social care research

Thank you to everyone who attended our annual lecture, which we held in London on the 17th July 2018. The event was chaired by Colin Rochester and the afternoon’s speakers were:

Peter Beresford OBE, Professor of Citizen Participation at the University of Essex. Download Peter’s presentation notes. Listen to Peter’s presentation here:

Jurgen Grotz, Senior Research Associate for the Patient and Public Involvement Research theme of the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England. Download Jurgen’s PowerPoint slides. Listen to Jurgen’s presentation here:

Savitri Hensman, the Patient and Public Involvement Coordinator at the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South London and based in the Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) team at King’s College London. Download Savitri’s presentation notes. Listen to Savitri’s presentation here:

Speakers explained that involving Patient and Public representatives and communities is complex and potentially flawed but can be a rich and rewarding contribution to health and social care research. Speakers pointed out that it is not a substitute for specific service user involvement and called for a better understanding of the potential and the limitations of Patient and Public Involvement. There was a clear call that in our challenging policy environment participation must embrace the personal and the political and their interrelations.

Following some discussion participants raised a range of questions we or others might wish to address in future work:

  • parity of esteem between Patient and Public representatives and researchers and how payments may reflect this;
  • practical implementation issues such as researcher’s ability to deal with the emotional needs of Patient and Public representatives;
  • the status of Patient and Public representatives as volunteers and the implications of this such as the need for clarity about the expected outcomes of their involvement;
  • lack of knowledge of how many Patient and Public representatives there are and who involves them.

ARVAC is delighted that Patient and Public Involvement in health and social care is taking place, but as the speakers explained and some of the participants pointed out, there is still a long way to go to make it work in the best interest for all. 


ARVAC Annual Conference and 2017 AGM

Thank you to everyone who came to our annual conference and AGM which we held on the 6thFebruary 2018 in London.

It was a fantastic afternoon and the event included two excellent presentations, from Nick Mahoney of the Raymond Williams Foundation and Paul Black of Nottingham Civic Exchange.

Nick Mahoney – ‘Participatory democracy in the age of angry publics’

‘Putting democracy and engagement in university research’ – Paula Black