School Pupils Encouraged to SHARE
In a Scottish first, representatives from SHARE visited a Lanarkshire school to meet Sixth Year students and inspire them to sign up to the national programme, which seeks the support of people aged over 16.
The pioneering event at St Ambrose High School in Coatbridge was organised by NHS Lanarkshire's Research & Development (R&D) Department, with the support of deputy head teacher Elizabeth Denton and the SHARE team.
SHARE aims to make it easier for experts to carry out pioneering research by anonymously matching people and their medical conditions with relevant research projects. SHARE also seeks permission to use any leftover blood taken after routine clinical testing for research purposes - a ground-breaking opportunity never before available to researchers.
Local SHARE recruiter Emma Johnston, who is based in the R&D Department at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, said "The school visit was a great success.
"Pupils could make a decision to sign up on the day or take leaflets home to discuss SHARE with their families. We're delighted that a number of the students have decided to join SHARE.
"It only takes a minute to sign up but the benefits may be felt for generations to come because SHARE matches the right people to the right research projects. In addition, the blood left over from routine testing can help improve treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers and asthma."
The S6 pupils were enthusiastic about what they heard. Lauren Curtis, from Coatbridge, said: "It was interesting to me because I'm hoping to work in neuroscience."
Lauren, 16, added: "I didn't know about it before but now I'm thinking about signing up for it - and encouraging my twin sister to do the same."
Aidan Dillon, 17, from Glasgow, commented: "It was very interesting. Using leftover blood samples is a good idea because otherwise they would just go to waste."
Jacob Plant, 16, from Coatbridge, added: "It's a great idea. I hadn't thought about it before but I don't see why I wouldn't sign up".
Thomas Dunbar, 17, from Glasgow, said: "I can't think of an argument against it - it's an easy sell," whilst 17-year-old Robyn McAvoy, from Glasgow, added: "It was a really informative event and I think I'll definitely join the register."
Anyone aged over 16 living in Scotland is eligible to register for SHARE. To sign up and help improve health research then please click here.