If you approached an older man or woman in the street and asked them to take part in incontinence research, can you imagine how they'd react?
That's why BORG, the Brunel Older people's Reference Group, was set up in 2009 by researchers with a special interest in ageing – such as Eleanor van den Heuvel, who develops assistive technology for continence management problems – and who wanted to raise the profile of Brunel University London's Ageing Studies research. This database of local over-50s is used to invite people to take part in cutting-edge research projects, as well as being project advisors, co-researchers, and supportive audiences for our public lectures and seminars.
To celebrate 10 years of research collaboration and friendship, BORG members were welcomed to campus today for a birthday bash and barbecue, attended by the Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr David Yarrow and Mayoress Mary O'Connor MBE.
Chief Operating Officer Paul Thomas recognised the importance of the group's relationship with Brunel: "The sort of activity that you help us with has become increasingly important for the university and for the nation as a whole," he said – "all the more important as a significant number of us enjoy far longer life expectancy than previous generations did."
Cllr Yarrow remarked that, as a 75-year-old Northerner who moved south in 1972, he's growing old in Hillingdon, a borough that's forward-thinking for older people: "Hillingdon was the first council in the country to introduce the brown badge parking scheme for over-65s that operates in all council-run car parks," he highlighted, and spoke of how Hillingdon celebrates the UN-led Day of the Older Person each year.
The biggest thanks of the day came from Ageing Studies theme leader Prof Christina Victor, whose research has benefited greatly from BORG's involvement: "BORG is a very concrete and important manifestation of Brunel's engagement with our local community.
"I really want to take the opportunity to publicly recognise how much you've contributed to the work we do in our Ageing Studies research group."
If you know of anyone who'd like to join the group, visit our BORG page and download the application form.
Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821 firstname.lastname@example.org