Brunel Community Research Fair

Project aims:

The aim of the event is to showcase ageing related research conducted at Brunel University.


The main objectives of the event were to bring researchers and local people together to show local people, research we are carrying out at Brunel University, especially in the field of ageing. The event also allowed researchers to invite local people to join the Brunel Older peoples’ Reference Group (BORG).

Summary of activity:

People were also invited to give their opinions and feedback to several groups of researchers. The event was held at the local Mall Pavilions shopping centre in Uxbridge. The shopping centre erected the stalls for the market a day early and the stalls were decorated with uniform table cloths, banners and stickers. The event was advertised through radio, newspaper and magazine adverts, mails outs to local community groups with posters, posters in the shopping centre and personal invitations to members of the BORG. The event was opened by Sue Cook and the Mayor of Hillingdon also attended. During the day there was a programme of music, talks and entertainments. People were asked to evaluate the event by means of a free prize draw.

Evaluation approach:

We organised the research fair to be held at a time that the target audience was most likely to be in the venue. Most of the feedback forms were filled in by older people and the event was visibly attended by older people. The Shopping centre management were pleased with the footfall figures which showed that we had that same number of shoppers on that day as the previous year whereas all the other days had shown a dramatic fall in shopper numbers. The zone figures showed lots of activity in the market square area during the time the fair was running.

What went well:

1. Turn out of older people audience and recruitment to Brunel Older people's Reference Group (BORG).

2. Turn out of researchers from Brunel University.

3. Different stalls (with hands-on activities, interesting objects).

What was learned:

1. Organisation of public events.

2. Recruitment strategies for potential research participants.

3. Liaison with Shopping Centre Management for better organisation and preparation of events and activities.

Top tips and advice for others

1. Make stalls and decorations eye-catching and interesting.

2. Adverstise the event widely and strategically (i.e. send invitation to local Age UK if your target audience are older people).

About this project


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About the contributor

Eleanor van den Heuvel
Brunel University

Eleanor has been at BIB since 1996 working on a range of different projects at the interface of Biology and Engineering. She has spent a number of years developing assistive technology for continence …

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