By Carol Bewick, Director of Membership Engagement and Communications, AMRC

Published: 14 June 2021

How many times have I typed #ResearchAtRisk over the last 15 months? How many times have I said it? It trips off the tongue so easily now along with the reasons the medical research charity sector need support to recover from the impacts of the pandemic. We’ve gathered evidence and used key messages until we see them in our sleep. 

It’s felt like more than a campaign. It’s been a pulling together into one very loud voice of AMRC charities, stakeholders, and the public to shout a warning from the roof tops. It gave us a purpose during the dark days of COVID 19 – something we could all fight to achieve. 

When the UK locked down in March 2020, we knew there would be an impact and we knew it would be tough. We projected and predicted, analysed and messaged. With each research project halted, each friend furloughed, each heartbreaking restructure, each day working long into the night we were more saddened but also, we were stronger. 

No-one could have predicted how resilient the sector could be. How willing it was to throw competition and self-interest out the window to magnify the need for research to continue so that health could be protected, cures found, symptoms treated, and diagnoses made. It was about ensuring a healthier and happier future. 

We’ve done a lot over the last year and my how we’ve all flexed. When getting together wasn’t possible fundraisers changed their game, events went virtual, content was adapted, homes became offices and we all got to know each other’s pets and families. And you changed the way you worked to protect as much research as you could. It’s been inspirational to watch. 

Our voice has been heard. We have support in Parliament, in industry, and in the public. People like Sir Paul Nurse from the Crick, Richard Torbett from ABPI, Simon Denegri at the Academy of Medical Sciences, Baroness Blackwood and Chi Onuwurah stood up and shouted with us about the value of charity funded research.  

The world has changed, as has our part in it. We may be smaller, we may have lost some funds, our Life Sciences Charity Partnership Fund may not have hit the mark as demands grew from every part of the economy, but we are now seen. And that is down to you. 

You made the difference. You were the ones who were selfless and put the needs of the whole above your own. You shouted. You messaged. You blogged, tweeted, and media released. You found examples to help us make our case. You were amazing. 

We’re so very grateful for everything you did with and for us over the last 15 months. And on our behalf please thank the thousands of your supporters who got behind us. 

You’ve built extremely strong foundations with us. From here we can use new tools and messages that resonate with the changing landscape to make sure the UK's research models are sustainable, and that charities’ vital role in the life sciences ecosystem is widely understood. We will continue to work with one voice. Don’t ever tell me this sector isn’t amazing. Because it is and it’s because of you.