The John Wilson Memorial Trust supports student partnership for 3 years PhD Research.
In 2013, the John Wilson Memorial Trust formed a partnership with Queen's University in the form of sponsoring student Desiree Schliemann, from the Centre for Public Health (CPH) through her PhD studies. Desiree explored how to increase fruit and vegetable consumption through workplace interventions.
Speaking at the launch of the studentship, which was set up by Ulster Carpets and funded by the John Wilson Memorial Trust, Nick Coburn, Group Managing Director, Deputy Chairman of Ulster Carpets and Chair of the John Wilson Memorial Trust said: "The health and wellbeing of Ulster Carpets' employees is very important to us so we are delighted to be involved in this research through the John Wilson Memorial Trust. I hope that this study will have a long term impact on public health in the local community and Northern Ireland as a whole."
Despite the knowledge that fruit and vegetable-rich diets are good for health, intake is still below recommended levels in Northern Ireland. Diets rich in fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer, and help with obesity prevention and weight maintenance.
CPH Director, Professor Ian Young said: "The support offered by the John Wilson Memorial Trust in the form of this PhD studentship, is central to the work of the Centre for Public Health which seeks to improve public health by encouraging lifestyle change."
Desiree Schliemann collected her information from the employees of Ulster Carpets at the county Armagh factory site. When she first visited the site she said: "I am delighted to be the recipient of the Ulster Carpets studentship and I am grateful to all those involved with the John Wilson Memorial Trust and the Centre for Public Health at Queen's University Belfast, for making this important research possible. Working closely with the staff at Ulster Carpets in Portadown, my work will explore strategies to help people increase their fruit and vegetable intake and to make smart food choices that will contribute to their overall wellbeing and aid the prevention of chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. "
Desiree continued to explain that without the funding from the JWMT the important research from 2013-2016 would not have been possible. The studentship was part of Queen's University 'Beyond' campaign. This campaign focuses on improving outcomes for patients in many of the major diseases of the 21st Century through speeding up the process of taking new lab discoveries through to the patient's bedside.