Service User and Carer Group Advising on Research

Exciting Empire being built!


We have some exciting news to share with you regarding our friends from Hamburg, Germany. As some of you may remember we had a visit from Professor Candelaria I. Mahlke and her colleagues from the University of Hamburg a couple of years ago as they were looking to us for some inspiration to start their own service user research group. I’m delighted to be able to share with you the recent email from Candelaria letting us know the good news:

“Dear SUGAR members,

Our visit at the SUGAR meeting in London two years ago  (already?!) left a big impact.

We started a SUGAR group in beginning of 2016 with a small foundations funding, as part of the so called EmPeeRie Project. The group itself is called EmPeeRie NOW (Nutzer Orientierte Wissenschaftsberatung – meaning user oriented research guidance – they came up with the name themselves)

EmPeeRie is from the German word “Empirie”  (scientific) knowledge based on observation and experience – but it had a shift in meaning more to research based. We wrote it with PeeR to have the peer-thought in there.

The project is located in the university medical centre – so not at the University but belonging to it in a clinical context with lots of research groups.

Great on the other hand is the feedback from the users and two care takers, who are also joining the group to insert the family perspective. They all say that they feel it`s de-stigmatizing to join the group and being part of, and influence research.

As another part of the EmPeeRie Project we are funding small research projects by users themselves, very interesting work as well (and challenging) and I`m learning a lot.

Thank you again for this inspiring meeting, the SUGAR group this way moved something here in Germany 🙂

Best wishes and a happy and inspiring 2017.”


Everyone here at SUGAR sends their congratulations and very best wishes to our colleagues in Hamburg and hope their group grows as SUGAR has and is a big success in Germany!



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