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It’s a very rewarding experience taking part in NDS outreach events. You have the opportunity to share your clinical and science related experiences with the public whilst also aiming to inspire the next generation. You represent the department and have the opportunity to showcase any new ideas and innovations you or your team may be working on.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact the simpler the explanation and presentation of complex ideas the better, for example the banana suturing activity, which was created by NDS Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Emma Morris. It’s amazing how popular this activity is and I already have a few ideas on how we can change this up a bit for the next event.

For those of NDS who feel a bit reluctant to take part, you can offer as little or as much of your time as you are able. It is tiring which is why we need as many people as possible to offer their time. This would make a massive difference to the core outreach team and also mix things up a bit with our activities.   

We run activities at festivals and in primary schools to name but a few. This can be either in the week or at a weekend, but there is usually plenty of notice to organise and plan. It is also a great way to network with other colleagues in the department, especially those who you wouldn’t normally meet or have the opportunity to work with in your day-to-day role.

IF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival 2019

NDS recently took part in the IF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival. We ran our hands-on activities at the Westgate Shopping Centre and in the Oxford Town Hall. One thing that stood out for me was a little four year old boy with his mum who had been in hospital the previous year with a neurological condition (she was talking to me whilst she was helping him to sew a banana). They had visited Dr Alastair Lamb’s ‘robot’ machine and she said she got quite emotional that he had been working the machine all on his very own... and competently. I think she was surprised at how capable he was, as his condition was clearly going to be ongoing. So who knows what this could inspire this chap to do in the future…?!

To find out more about past and upcoming outreach events supported by NDS, please visit the NDS Public Engagement webpages. Please contact myself or Louise King for further information about how you can get involved.

Blog posts

Hosting a virtual work experience programme

In this blog post, Dr Hannah McGivern, a Tissue Handling Technician for the Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) initiative at NDS, discusses her involvement in the NDS Virtual Work Experience Programme, and shares how fascinating and rewarding it was to talk with the students about a career in research.

SITU Work Experience 2020

Lucy Paterson (NDS) and Teya Agnese (NDORMS) from the Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU) describe the fun challenge of delivering an online SITU session to this year's NDS work experience students.

Black Lives Matter

Emily Hotine, NDS Athena SWAN Coordinator, talks about the importance of anti-racism (and why it is not enough to simply say you’re not racist), the power of white privilege, and why we should all be saying, “black lives matter.”

Reflections on gratitude during lockdown

Louise King collates our words of gratitude amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kindness for mental health

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to reflect on kindness. Louise King, NDS Communications and Public Engagement Officer, discusses the role kindness plays in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.