Breaking Down Barriers Workshops
Grant giving was just one part of the BDB project and while organisations appreciated the additional funding to enable them to implement these changes, we often received feedback saying it was the opportunities to collaborate with others and the learning provided through the webinars and in-person workshops that the network found most beneficial.
At the start of BDB, we provided annual in-person workshops and each year we achieved 100% satisfaction rates, with everyone stating that they felt the learning from these workshops would support them in their future work.
During these workshops, attendees gave an overview of their BDB projects and shared examples of good practice, including some of the challenges they experienced along the way. They had the opportunity to socialise and network with others working in a similar field and to engage in 1:1 and group discussions. We invited speakers covering a range of topics such as developments in genomics, developing cultural competence and examples of previous work such as the Enhanced Genetics Project and the Born in Bradford study. We created a safe space where the BDB network could have open and honest conversations. These workshops were then followed by the development of top tips and useful resources for the network to utilise.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all our support and activities had to move to be delivered virtually and in June 2021 we held our first virtual BDB conference – Diverse Discoveries and Inclusive Insights. This was the first time we changed from a workshop to a conference, and we made the decision to widen our reach to include people from outside of the BDB network. We had 70 attendees and while people missed the opportunity to be together in-person, we received excellent feedback:
‘One of the most important meetings that has happened in the rare sphere this year. Thank you for all the work you do!’
Medics for Rare Diseases
‘Very interesting presentations and discussions. Great to be part of such a brilliant network of organisations.’
‘Great event yesterday, so good to hear about the developments – great strides happening at BDB!’