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24 Nov 2020

Visit the MultiVerse Lab and add your voice to shape the future of health research

MultiVerse Lab logo

Enter the Multiverse Lab.  Add your voice. Shape the future of health research.

You could shape the future of health research by taking part in a new interactive, online experience called Multiverse Lab.

Created by the award-winning Unfolding Theatre, Multiverse Lab aims to gather the opinions of 2,000 people and find out what matters to local people when it comes to their health. The site will initially be targeted at residents living in the North of Tyne region – including Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Through a specially designed website, Multiverse Lab will ask visitors to consider the question, ‘What is the health breakthrough you hope to see in your lifetime?’.

To provide inspiration and help visitors understand the importance of health research in our everyday lives, a series of fun and informative features have been developed.

These include an interactive map that highlights the current health of the region and a timeline of health research breakthroughs. Visitors can then use a bespoke recording facility to leave a 40 second message that helps create a ‘Lab of Many Voices’. These messages will then be shared with researchers and decision-makers to shape future health research in the region.

To encourage as many people as possible the opportunity to contribute their views, Multiverse Lab features the talents of North East musicians and performers Kay Greyson, Umar Butt, EJ Raymond and Tony Neilson who act as friendly online Guides. Multiple accessibility features have also been built into the Multiverse Lab, including audio description and BSL interpretation.

Unfolding Theatre has built a reputation for creating innovative, joyful theatre and installations. Multiverse Lab builds upon the success of a similar project in 2018 called Multiverse Arcade, which was part of the Great Exhibition of the North. Multiverse Arcade inspired 20,000 young people to think about the future and provided a platform for them to highlight the change they wanted to see in the world.

Although originally envisioned as a physical installation that would tour to community venues across the North of Tyne region, Unfolding Theatre is confident that Multiverse Lab will reach thousands of people living in the region.

The innovative project has been commissioned by a collaboration of partners including:

• The National Innovation Centre for Ageing
• National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – involving:
o NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre
o NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative
o NIHR Newcastle Clinical Research Facility
o NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre Cluster (Newcastle)
o NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria
• Newcastle University
• The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Whilst Multiverse Lab is a playful and fun online experience to take part in, the project partners hope it will reinforce the importance of health research and encourage more people to have their say.

Professor Lynne Corner, Director of Engagement, UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing, Newcastle University says:

“Now more than ever we need to find ways to involve the public in health research so that it responds to our health needs. The pandemic has brought health inequalities in our local communities into sharp focus. Multiverse Lab is one of a number of ways we are reaching out to individuals and community groups to ensure health research responds to everyone’s health needs and interests.

We hope the people that take part in Multiverse Lab will not only enjoy the experience but also sign up to VOICE – a network of people across the UK interested in supporting health research – and join us in delivering local health research that makes a difference to all our health and wellbeing.”

Visit the MultiVerse Lab