Kate Ledingham – Excellence in Public Engagement 2020

The Excellence in Public Engagement Award recognised Kate Ledingham who made an exceptional contribution to public engagement by creating videos of discussions between stroke survivors, herself and Professor Cathy Price to understand the kind of feedback patients want to receive about their language recovery after stroke.

An image of Kate LedinghamKate Ledingham is a Research Assistant working with the PLORAS (Predicting Language Outcome and Recovery After Stroke) team and is their public engagement lead. Her role includes administering language assessments and supports patients through the MRI scan procedure alongside the radiographers. She has an interest in people’s everyday experiences of aphasia – an impairment of language caused by a brain injury that affects how people produce or understand speech and their ability to read or write.

In 2019, Kate organised video discussions to be conducted between selected PLORAS participants, Professor Cathy Price and herself with an aim of understanding the kind of feedback patients (and carers, where applicable) want to receive about their language recovery after stroke, and how they felt after receiving this feedback. Kate meticulously planned these discussions ensuring the safety and security of each participant.

These videos were then used as part of Professor Cathy Price’s talk at the UCL 2019 World Stroke Day Forum, an event which brings together researchers, clinicians, charities stroke survivors and their families to empower stroke survivors to engage with and contribute to our work, with the aim to improve prognosis and rehabilitation after stroke). The videos were very well received at the event and provide a valuable two-way communication between researchers and stroke survivors.

Kate’s team members commended her for her exceptional commitment to public engagement over the last year. They added that following the 2019 UCL World Stroke Day Forum, their wider team feels more confident that their public engagement is effective. They believe they are not just reaching their target audience but strengthening an established network of stroke survivors, carers, researchers, clinicians and charities whilst providing opportunities for multi-way communication within this network.

A colleague added:

“Her ongoing commitment to including stroke survivors in the core work of the PLORAS project deserves to be recognised and rewarded.”

Upon winning Kate added:

“It’s especially lovely to receive this award when there have been so many great public engagement projects at the WCHN this year.  I think it’s really important to include the voices of people with aphasia in our research and I’m excited to develop more projects with our participants in the future”

Congratulations to Kate on all her hard work, and we look forward to seeing how this project develops!

Awarded May 2020