Multiverse Lab: new online experience for patient involvement in the North East
Residents living north of the Tyne are being asked to take part in a new interactive, online experience called Multiverse Lab that will shape the future of health research in North East England.
Created by the award-winning Unfolding Theatre, Multiverse Lab will gather the opinions of 2,000 people in order to find out what matters to local people when it comes to their health.
Visitors will be encouraged to add their voice to the dedicated platform, by recording a message that will be shared with researchers and decision-makers to shape future health research in the region.
The project has been commissioned by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, along with fellow NIHR centres in the region (NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative, NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria, and the NIHR Clinical Research Network), as well as partners VOICE, The National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA), Newcastle University and The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Whilst Multiverse Lab is a playful and fun online experience to take part in, health research is more important than ever in 2020. Like other commissioning partners, the Newcastle BRC is leading ground-breaking and innovative research that are making life better for people living in the North East and beyond, specifically in the areas of ageing syndromes, dementia, musculoskeletal, liver, neuromuscular and skin and oral diseases. The Multiverse Lab will be a way to ensure the future research needs of people living in the community are considered.
The Multiverse Lab platform features the talents of North East musicians and performers including Kay Greyson, Umar Butt, EJ Raymond and Tony Neilson who act as online Guides. The website also provides an interactive map that visitors can explore to discover 100+ years of health breakthroughs, as well as hearing about the cutting-edge research being carried out by researchers in our region. The hope is that this ‘Lab of Many Voices’ will grow over the next three months as more recordings are submitted and visitors can also listen to what health issues matter to other people living in the region. To give as many people as possible the opportunity to contribute their views, accessibility features have been built into the Multiverse Lab, including audio description and BSL interpretation.
Although originally envisioned as a physical installation that would tour to community venues across the North of Tyne region, Unfolding Theatre is confident that Multiverse Lab will reach thousands of people living in the region.
Professor Lynne Corner, Patient and Public Involvement Director for the Newcastle BRC says:
Now more than ever we need to find ways to involve the public in health research so that it responds to our health needs. The pandemic has brought health inequalities in our local communities into sharp focus. Multiverse Lab is one of a number of ways we are reaching out to individuals and community groups to ensure health research responds to everyone’s health needs and interests.
The North of Tyne is home to world-class scientific research that has been helping to improve physical health and wellbeing of the population for many years. We are delighted that Multiverse Lab is able to celebrate and highlight the awe-inspiring efforts of our local scientists and researchers who have committed their lives to advancing healthcare for us all.
Annie Rigby, Artistic Director, Unfolding Theatre says:
Multiverse Lab has been an exciting project for Unfolding Theatre. We were delighted to explore how the approach we developed in Multiverse Arcade could be adapted to gather people’s opinions about health research and have real impact. We are acutely aware of the health inequalities that exist in the North East. It is great to be part of a project that seeks to make under-represented voices heard and address the health issues that matter most to our communities.
The free online experience launches on 7 October at: https://www.multiverselab.co.uk/