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The NICHE-Leeds Engaged Family and Friends Panel

Family and friends of people living in care homes have an important role in the NICHE-Leeds partnership. The Engaged Family and Friends panel meets every month to explore how research can help when addressing what matters for residents and their families and friends. Janet Parkin and Yvonne Bell are members of the panel. Read below to hear about their experience of being part of NICHE-Leeds.

Janet Parkin: Family and Friend Representative

“Both my mum and dad have lived together in a care home since 2021. It was a big change to adapt to living somewhere new. During 2022 I attended a NICHE-Leeds Engaged Family and Friends panel meeting as I wanted to learn more about the work carried out in NICHE-Leeds. As a panel member I attend monthly meetings, take part in discussions, and share my parents’ experience of living in a care home. I also suggest ideas which feeds into work being carried out to improve the experience of residents and their families. I enjoy meeting others who also have loved ones living in care homes, and together exchanging our stories and experiences”.


Yvonne Bell: Family and Friend Representative

"My mum moved into a care home in 2019, and lived there until she passed away 2022. When I saw a flyer about the NICHE-Leeds Engaged Family and Friends panel - I was curious. My mum was happy in the home, and I could see the bond between her and the care staff. I did wonder though about how some things could be improved. I joined the panel to help bring positive changes. We meet via Zoom for one hour almost every month. We discuss a variety of topics, the atmosphere is friendly, relaxed, supportive, and non-judgemental. Depending on commitments we choose how much we get involved with projects. As family and friends our views are important in research and I’m glad to give something back to the care sector who provided so much to my Mum in her final years. I encourage anybody to have an open mind and join, you will be welcomed by us all."