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Professor Andy Minnion selected for top 100 list of 'Nation's Lifesavers'

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Professor Minnion is named to top 100 list of people and groups improving health and wellbeing

The University of East London’s (UEL) Professor Andy Minnion has been named in the Universities UK’s top 100 list of individuals and groups who are saving lives and keeping people healthy.

Professor Minnion, director of the University’s RIX Research & Media, was chosen as one of the MadeAtUni campaign’s ‘Nation’s Lifesavers’ for his work pioneering a multimedia advocacy approach which helps people with learning disabilities shape and control the way they are supported and cared for in their daily lives.

Professor Minnion said, “It is a great honour to be selected for our work helping people with learning disabilities. We have always focused on ways that media can help people have a voice to transform their lives. The work we do at RIX Research & Media, in partnership with families, professionals and organisations, demonstrates the power of our tools in ensuring learning disabled people have the best possible health and wellbeing, and are genuinely listened to and understood.”

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president of UEL, praised Professor Minnion and his team for their exceptional work.

She said, “We are delighted that Professor Minnion has been recognised by the MadeAtUni campaign. Addressing health inequalities is a priority at the University of East London, and the work RIX Research & Media does is a wonderful example of how universities can, through research and innovation, produce truly life-changing outcomes for diverse populations.”

The centre’s innovative ‘RIX Wiki’ and ‘Easy Survey’ software approach involves the use of photos, video and sound clips with easy-read text to help learning disabled people organise their thoughts and communicate their needs and aspirations. It has gained recognition for addressing the health inequalities and higher mortality rates experienced by these populations, who are often misunderstood when they communicate.

Professor Minnion and RIX Research and Media have collaborated with many external partners on EU-funded projects, as well as run workshops and pop-up museum experiences, all with the goal of empowering people with disabilities to achieve effective care and support to live the lives they want to lead and gain social inclusion. The centre works with more than 20 local authorities and over 100 schools and voluntary organisation in the UK, USA and Europe.

Universities UK’s MadeAtUni campaign seeks to bring to life the impact that universities have on people, lives and communities. For the ‘Nation’s Lifesavers’, universities from across the country were invited to nominate an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK, said, “When people think of lifesavers they tend to focus on the dedication and skill of our doctors, nurses, carers, and paramedics – many of whom are trained at universities. Every day, up and down the country, universities are also working on innovations to transform and save lives. Research taking place in universities is finding solutions to so many of the health and wellbeing issues we care about and the causes that matter.

“This campaign is a chance to bring to life the wonderful and often unexpected work going on every day in our universities and to celebrate some of the people working to make a life-changing difference to the nation.”

You can read more about Professor Minnion and RIX Research & Media, as well the general campaign, on the MadeAtUni website.