Joint Oxford Health and Oxford BRC Open Day 2024: Shaping the Future of Healthcare


Just from entering Leicester Square (located on the ground floor of the Westgate) I was impressed by the quantity of stands and amount going on. After some time wandering around, I managed to find the eco-flourishing stand. Here I was greeted by my fellow YPAGers (young people advisory group). Quickly I joined in the fun of handing out sunflower seeds to the public. At the same time, we gifted people with two QR codes, one to grant access to a quiz, and the other to access our website. Further engagement happened via conversation about their thoughts on how people engage with nature, and the activities located on our stand.

The activities:

The first activity offered was listening to soil, which created more interesting sounds than expected. The second activity was using a microscope to look at Sammy the Snail; this intrigued children especially. Lastly people could put a green sticker on a map spanning over Oxford. Personally, this was my favourite activity as I could see a shared love with some of my favourite green spaces, and it showed me new places to go.

One conversation:

One conversation I had with a man I found particularly striking was that he said humans have a negative relationship with nature. At first I was slightly confused, as most often hear things about how nature is good for humans. But he explained how we are destroying the environment (eg. climate change, deforestation, monocropping). The difference in how we perceive the question of “what is humans’ relationship with nature?” lies in our perspective. I answered the question positively, thinking of the question on a personal level. Whereas he answered it thinking of humans in total.

The other stands:

When the opportunity arose, we got to explore the whole of the BCR open day. Overall, the stands were very engaging. The stands had plenty of fun activities for kids to get involved in. And for the adults, they could talk to interesting professionals about why they were there.

At one point I even got to try my first keto brownie! Very good considering the considerable drop in calories. 

At another stand I had a conversation with a nice man about how sleep works. He explained how an EEG is used, and used a dummy to show me where the electrodes are connected to the head to map brainwaves. I observed different brain waves for the different states of sleep.

On another stand I did a test to see if I had Parkinson’s disease by smelling a whole bunch of different smells. 

There was a stand about vaccines, where my fellow YPAGers and I played a beeper game. Turns out approximately 154 million lives have been saved because of vaccines!

At the next stand, some cancer researchers were using their equipment to look inside different chocolates.

At another stand, I had an interesting conversation with the people there about their digital museum. The museum was comprised of an array of stories from people of different times and backgrounds. They chose strangers’ stories rather than famous people’s. The researchers spoke about how they connected with young people during COVID-19 to see how the digital museum made them feel. They mentioned how it had a positive impact on the young people.