#Red4Research Day 2021

Sally Humphreys Research Nurse Anaesthetics, West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

#Red4Research Day on Friday 18th June 2021 aims to get as many people as possible wearing red to demonstrate their support and appreciation for all those participating, undertaking and supporting COVID-19 research.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in both our personal and professional lives. We have all had to continually adapt to new processes, systems and requirements in what continues to be one of the most testing times. Despite tremendous pressure, the research and development (R&D) community has continued to evolve, researching innovative initiatives to complex COVID challenges, ultimately delivering an extensive range of COVID-19 research studies at an unprecedented pace and scale.

Academia, industry, health and care and regulatory bodies continue to work together on COVID-19 research. Research is shaping our understanding of the pandemic and underpins measures to tackle it. It builds on existing knowledge and tests new and innovative ways to understand and treat COVID-19 leading to the biggest vaccination programme in history.

How can I participate in #Red4Research Day?

The concept is very simple. Wear any item of red clothing, print or make a placard saying #Red4Research, take a photo and post it on social media with the #Red4Research hashtag. It is completely inclusive – anyone, any age, anywhere can participate – children, adults even pets. Hopefully people might have a bit of fun along the way raising the profile and work of all those involved in the research process.

#Red4Research Resources

I have created an animation outlining #Red4Research and there are a range of social media resources for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to help people take part and engage in the #Red4Research campaign. All are freely available to download from the #Red4Research webpage on NHS R&D Forum.

How did #Red4Research start?

#Red4Research Day originally began in 2020. During the first national lockdown, I created a short animation and posted it on social media encouraging people to wear #Red4Research. Three days later #Red2Research Day happened and the response was inspiring. People supported the day in America, Australia, Chile, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, India as well as the UK.

#Red4Research is all about positivity, creativity and support in the face of adversity and these key values remain as important today as the day I started the campaign. In January 2021 when the second national UK lockdown was implemented, I started sharing some COVID kindness through a daily email positivity post to keep our R&D community connected, motivated and inspired during these difficult times. It is hard to believe that these will have been running for 6 months by the time of #Red4Research day.

I am a PhD student, NHS research nurse and chair the NHS R&D Forum Research Management Working Group but the campaign is not about me. #Red4Research is not country, group or organisation specific but powered by the collective efforts of all those involved. Research isn’t undertaken by individuals working in isolation, it is collegial, made possible by people around the world working together. Research doesn’t just happen, people make it happen – research participants, patients, professionals, volunteers and regulatory bodies all collectively working together. COVID-19 has impacted on all of us. Research offers a beacon of hope, it underpins the largest vaccine campaign in history and everybody has played their part.

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