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St George’s Engagement Champions

Duncan Barron (PPI Lead, Centre for Public Engagement,Kingston and St George’s Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education)

A picture of Duncan BarronDuncan is the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead in the Centre for Public Engagement which is based in the joint faculty of health and social care at Kingston & St George’s.  Duncan works to promote meaningful service user involvement with research teams and encourages them to incorporate patient and public involvement at the earliest stages of their proposed research. Duncan has helped establish numerous PPI groups both in NHS Trusts and universities and for specific research projects.  In 2016 Duncan helped establish a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) of children aged 8-18yrs which meets at the Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital in Brighton and is affiliated to the Generation R network of UK YPAGs.

Rafiah Badat (NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow, City, University of London, Speech & Language Therapist, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Honorary PPI Assistant, Centre for Public Engagement)

A picture of Rafiah BadatRafiah is a paediatric Speech and Language Therapist based at St George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust supporting children with language and learning need.  She is also a clinical researcher and is on the National Institute of Health Research and Health Education England’s Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship.  Her research involves working with school-aged children who have language disorder, their parents/carers, professional support staff and the wider community to collectively create digital therapy tools using principles of co-design.  Rafiah attended training hosted by the Centre for Public Engagement and this began the journey of working together to create research output that is relevant and accessible to all. 


Involving members of the public in helping identify, prioritise and conduct health and social care research is a central focus of the Centre for Public Engagement. We also help research teams engage with the public to help disseminate the findings of their research.  Our hope is that, throughout all involvement and engagement activities learning for both the research team and the public occurs whether this is related to a specific health condition or about research more generally.

More recently we have focussed our activities on working with Children and Young People (C&YP) via establishing different models of Young People’s Advisory Groups (YPAGs) that work collaboratively on providing input in to research, while at the same time offering research skills training to the C&YP that supplements what they learn at school. 

Through the Champions programme we aim to move towards engaging with C&YP and research teams at all stages of the research cycle using more digital methods.  Working collaboratively to co-design methods and adopt tools and technologies favoured by C&YP we aim to bring together different YPAGs to offer a fun learning event and to hear from the C&YP about what works for them in order to improving the resources for C&YP from a range of diverse backgrounds, including a focus on children with a language disorder, and for the benefit of future SGUL paediatric research.  Focusing on digital engagement technologies at this time is likely to be very timely considering the new landscape we are all now facing.

We have already run one successful remote YPAG session in June focusing on gaining feedback on the development of a research website that Rafiah is developing to help remain engagement with the public ahead of developing a new speech and language App.  The same principles were extended to remotely engage with young people in Wandsworth who present with language and learning needs in conjunction with local schools.  It is anticipated that a further 4 to 5 sessions will be required to complete the website project, giving plenty of scope to review, refine and develop this remote model of patient and public engagement with children and young people and their families.


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