Big Bowel Event 2017 In June 2017, our first ever Big Bowel Event in Birmingham saw researchers and the public coming together to make research better. It was both inspiring and informative in equal measure and a great opportunity to be part of a collective group of amazing people all so committed to a area of huge importance to myself and my family. What was on at the Big Bowel Event? Patient involvement in research. The event was split into two distinct parts, with rapid 5 minute presentations in the morning followed up with longer hour long “round table” discussion sessions in the afternoon. The morning gave an insight into the research and the opportunity for involvement. The afternoon brought academics and the public together to help to shape the best research. Real public involvement in research During the afternoon the audience were asked for their expertise in many different aspects across a wide range of research topics. These included working on developing an effective exercise programme for people with a stoma, advising on how to promote clinical trials to potential participants and giving advice on new screening devices for bowel cancer and Crohn’s disease. Outcomes from the day The aim of The Big Bowel Event was to provide a positive and accessible forum for the public to learn about and get involved in innovative research and product development. Within this we hoped that: Members of the audience would feel that there is a huge amount of innovative and exciting research underway to support people would bowel problems. Members of the public would leave the Big Bowel Event with a greater understanding of, and interest in, bowel research in its many forms. Researchers would leave the Big Bowel Event feeling that they have gained valuable insights from the public that they can use to improve their research and feed back to funders. We (researchers) were focusing almost exclusively on the challenges of being active with a stoma whereas they (patients) were focusing also on being active after abdominal surgery and were like any patient having abdominal surgery. What makes the Big Bowel Event special? The answer is YOU! Without people coming along to support our researchers, we can't do great research that meets the needs of patients. The involvement of people who have experience of living with bowel disease is vital. If you'd like to come to our next Big Bowel Event, register your interest below. Yes, please contact me with details of your next Big Bowel Event.