Recently, young people and families went behind the scenes of research at GOSH at the annual Family Fun Day, hosted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
At the event, families and friends discovered the fascination of science by getting hands-on with a range of interactive activities. This included a scientific treasure hunt, build-your-own bacteria stations and mock clinical trials that involved taste-testing chocolate!
It also gave young people and their families the chance to watch science experiments in action, and saw how researchers use 3D printers to create models of children’s hearts, helping cardiac surgeons prepare for operations.
Tours of the Cell and Gene Therapy labs were popular, allowing guests to view a hidden, but crucial, part of the hospital. Dressing up as scientists and helping with experiments inside the labs helped young people to learn how doctors and scientists find treatments for seriously ill children.
The NIHR Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is the only BRC in the UK dedicated to children’s health and is currently running 300 research projects focusing on some of the rarest childhood conditions in the world.
Teo takes over
We caught up with patient Teo, who attended the event. Teo hosted a Twitter takeover on the @GreatOrmondSt Twitter account, to give staff, patients and families the inside scoop of the day’s activites.
“It was a really interesting and informative day for both children and their parents,” begins Teo. “It was amazing to see everyone getting involved with the activities and learning more about why research is important. This included the behind-the-scenes tour of the labs, which I thought were fascinating and brought to life the world of research.
“I also enjoyed meeting researchers, parents and young families. It was particularly interesting to meet the parents of young children and listen to their stories. A lot of whom are benefitting, or could benefit in future, from research.
“On a personal level, the day helped me as a patient of GOSH but also as someone who would like to become a doctor. I realised I was having fun, and I was given confidence that I was on the right path towards my future career.
“The Twitter Takeover was an exciting opportunity that allowed me to show how the day provided visitors with an invaluable insight into the medical research work. Hopefully, the @GreatOrmondSt audience were able to see the encouragement it brought to a new generation inspired to become scientists."