Happy New Year! Since this time of year is always a period of introspection for me, I thought I’d do a little roundup of what I’ve done in my first full year as Patient and Public Involvement Manager at Bowel Research UK:

– Embarked on a complete career change from digital marketing to patient and public involvement (PPI) within bowel disease and bowel cancer research
– Learned a lot about patient involvement and the fascinating research being carried out
– Co-ordinated focus groups and shared involvement opportunities
– Began developing a business case for this part of the charity
– Put together a valuable committee to help direct our PPI work
– Organised and hosted the Big Bowel Event virtual patient conference
– Created, hosted and launched the Can I Butt In? podcast
– Published a book of poetry by bowel cancer and bowel disease patients and their families

Not to mention travelling more, especially on my own, navigating trains (when they weren’t striking), getting to know London a little better and attending my first conference. As an introvert with social anxiety working in a new field, I’m gently stretching my comfort zone on my own terms. Not to mention balancing working on my PhD at the same time!

I love the freedom and responsibility my position gives me but also that I work within a lovely, supportive team where we’re always ready to pitch in, share ideas, provide feedback and help each other, as we can’t do any of it alone. We all share and work towards the same important vision.

I’m looking forward to building on this experience in 2024 and seeing what else patients, researchers and charities can achieve together!