In the UK today there are 11 million people with a disability. Our research work with disabled people across the lifespan gives us a unique perspective in the charity sector that allows us to provide research-driven advice and management to several different conditions.
We want all people with a disability to have the maximum opportunity to achieve and participate in society. The Chamwell Centre supports research aimed at addressing the lack of evidence around interventions that promote health benefits for those with a varying range of disabilities. Research to date has tended to focus on common physical disabilities, which affect a large number of individuals. As such, the Chamwell Centre also supports research into physical and intellectual disabilities that are regarded as rare or, in some cases, ultra-rare, which are often overlooked.
The research strategy of the Chamwell Centre in collaboration with the Centre for Sport, Exercise, Health and Wellbeing at University of Gloucestershire specially focuses on six strategic topics:
For several disabilities, a treatment does not exist and therefore finding better ways of managing different conditions and understanding those factors that have a positive impact on quality of life for both individuals and their families is of crucial importance. This will form an important strategic research aim of the Chamwell Centre.
Several physical activity interventions are being pioneered by the Chamwell Centre for adults and children with disabilities including Hydrotherapy, Racerunning and Mixed Ability Rugby. However, there is no evidence to demonstrate how effective these interventions are and what health benefits may be gained by those taking part. Our second strategic aim will be to assess the effectiveness of these interventions, which will be used to inform evidence-based practice.
Some users of the Chamwell Centre may experience rare or ultra-rare conditions, the treatment and management of which can pose a significant challenge for researchers carrying out clinical trials and clinicians treating these individuals. Finding appropriate participants and ensuring that the right assessments are being used to measure the benefit of a potential drug or other therapeutic intervention is crucial for clinical trials to be successful. The Chamwell Centre will see a range of rare and ultra-rare conditions and this will help with the collection of clinical trial data in these populations.
Sharing knowledge and experience in the scientific community is crucial in shortening the time that individuals have to wait to receive an accurate diagnosis and receive the best standards of care. The Chamwell Centre will play an important part in providing platforms to facilitate the communication and collaboration among the scientific community including producing reviews of conditions and interventions, which form the basis of clinical guidelines and are necessary precursors for clinical trials.
Gloucestershire has an outstanding reputation for having professionals in the field of paediatric disability. The Chamwell Centre will play a crucial role in continuing to develop individuals who can support the scientific community. Student scientists and clinicians from the University of Gloucestershire will take up work placement opportunities, producing graduates that understand the need for research-led, evidence-based practice.
The Chamwell Centre is committed to building partnerships with other funding agencies and patient organisations to combine resources to fund vital research that falls within one or more of the priority areas set out in this research strategy.
The Chamwell Centre was built entirely by charitable funding and will rely on the generosity of the public, businesses and charitable trusts to continue its work and to ensure that children and adults in Gloucestershire can enjoy its facilities.
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