GIFT-Surg collaborated with its long-term charity partner, Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC), to produce an animation showcasing the value of ARC’s involvement in research.
The video explores how the charity contributes towards research projects by advocating for the perspective of parents faced with difficult news and decisions in their pregnancy. It focuses on ARC’s engagement with GIFT-Surg and the Optimising Exome PREnatal Sequencing Services (EXPRESS) study at the National Institute for Health Research.
Bella Spencer, GIFT-Surg’s Public Engagement Officer said: “ARC have been a member of GIFT-Surg’s Patient and Public Involvement Advisory Group since its inception. This animation was an opportunity to celebrate and showcase their invaluable contribution to research, advocate for charity involvement more broadly and bring our communities together for mutual learning.”
Sara Lykke Madsen, Engagement and Development Coordinator at ARC said: “Despite being a small charity, we are very fortunate to be involved in a variety of high-quality research projects, such as GIFT-Surg and we had really wanted to showcase this side of our work in a more accessible way on our website. When the opportunity came up to work collaboratively with Bella and the public engagement team to develop this animation, it was therefore a given that we would take it.”
As part of the project, GIFT-Surg researchers took part in an online workshop with members of the ARC community who have previously had a pregnancy termination for medical reasons. Participants shared their experiences and expertise, which were used to shape the animation’s visual identity and script.
Dr Brian Dromey, Clinical Research Fellow at University College London and Dr Neeltje Crombag, Midwife and Research Fellow at KU Leuven were among the GIFT-Surg researchers who took part in the workshop.
Dr Crombag said: “I learned that what we as researchers or healthcare professionals think is helpful and clear is sometimes perceived differently. The active contribution of women with lived experiences very much helps to better shape information provision that meets the needs of women in comparable situations.”
Dr Dromey added: “The ARC community was incredibly warm, friendly and responsive to our attending the workshop. I gained a greater appreciation for the work that ARC does in supporting individuals, couples and families faced with very difficult decisions.”
You can find further details about the project in our case study.