My involvement with Re:Mission goes back to over a year before it started. I had been involved in research to some degree before. I knew from the outset this was different.

I was involved as a co-applicant on “the bid.” The lead researcher Louisa Ells blew me away from day one with her enthusiasm and willingness to listen to every voice.

Looking back I was involved with matters in a world that was alien to me. So many acronyms and so much jargon to cut through. The team were so patient with me. I felt under-qualified and overvalued. Louisa reassured me on more than one occasion that my lived experience of obesity earned me a place at the table.

We formed a PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) group. Though from a range of backgrounds and experiences we gelled. There was a real buzz in our meetings, we were supported and nurtured. We had a real role in the application process.

The bid was successful and the work for the PPI group took off. Things were adapted because of the pandemic but we all coped with working remotely.

As the project rolls out I am so blessed to be part of the teams that form the Re:Mission. I love being part of the PPI group and I see the opportunities there for developing our work and getting involved in training and every aspect of the project. I also find myself in other team meetings where it’s a pleasure to see the lived experience being heard.

Over my time in numerous PPI projects or teams going back to 2005, I have reflected on how much things have developed. I am so proud to see what we are achieving as part of true co-production.

NHS Low Calorie Diet Programme

Read more about the NHS low calorie diet programme that we are evaluating.