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UCL Public Engagement Blog



Introducing Rory!

By Rory, on 10 April 2020

This blog is written by Rory, our new UCL Centre for Co-production Project Co-ordinator

I knew I would be writing an introductory blog post about myself but it never crossed my mind that it would come from my kitchen!

And yet, here we are, weeks into social distancing and working from home – or in my case, working from kitchen. Absurd and cosy at the same time, but even more so, it feels like there’s much to be grateful for. But first, introductions!

My name is Rory and my home has been South London for almost six years now. Initially it was Elephant & Castle, as it was very close to the Waterloo Campus of King’s College London and walking distance from a Nando’s, which at the time was what I cared most about. It turned out to be also conveniently close to Vauxhall, where Marie Curie England is based, and where I got an internship at their Policy and Public Affairs team. Those few months changed my focus from being obsessed with studying history to developing a passion for social engagement and end of life care.


Image of Rory, she is surrounded by plants and also sun, rainbow and cloud emoji’s

After collaborating with some incredibly inspiring unpaid carers on a research project for my master’s degree at King’s, I was almost certain that becoming a corporate lawyer was not my calling. I had that in mind since I could read and help my two lawyer parents with photocopying and filing papers, but that was back in Budapest, Hungary, which now seemed like it might as well be on the Moon: it was not home and it was not the place I knew most. Home for me was now not a place but a possibility to continue learning from the most brilliant people living and working in all sorts of communities. First, this was the NHS, then a tech start-up, and now in 2020, a new role split between two fascinating centres linked to research. One of them is of course the UCL Centre for Co-production. The other, the Biomedical Research Centre, is a partnership between UCL and the UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, aiming to take innovations in basic science and turning them into treatments and therapies that have a direct impact for patients. I am focusing on the Your Data Our Challenge project.

This pandemic has been a different experience for everyone, so, beyond the general points made about anxiety, personal losses, the duty to help others, and the inconveniences of staying indoors, the only observation I will make is how lucky I am to have the means to write from my kitchen and be free from mental and physical pain. And, I can still pursue my passion, if I try hard enough. Every day is a chance to learn something, and now seems to be the time to learn how to cope and continue. Which is why, our team with help from Centre co-producers is collecting a few resources to help you to engage with each other even while being apart – keep an eye out for another blog on this coming soon! Co-producing without face to face contact will be different but I am very much looking forward to it. I’m hoping to meet all of you in some digital form very soon. But for now, have a look at the cover picture to this blog so you can see where i’m based, this is my new home office! Lovely to meet you all, hello!

Get involved in the UCL Centre for Co-production in Health Research

Email Rory coproduction@ucl.ac.uk if you’re curious about the Centre. Or:

  • Let us know if you’d like to join in collaborating on our blog! You could tell us a bit about yourself, share learnings from co-production projects, or let us know if you have any other ideas.
  • Send us resources to feature here next month, or tag us on Twitter @UCLCoPro

If you’d like to keep hearing about what we’re up to and what we’re learning at the Centre, feel free to sign up for our newsletter.

Feel free to email Rory at coproduction@ucl.ac.uk if you’d like a PDF or Word copy of this blog.

(Cover image. Description: Rory in her kitchen with her laptop and some daffodils wearing a yellow t.shirt and bobble hat)

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