Heather is one of our Public Involvement Strategy Group (PAG) members.

Heather Thomas


For the past six years I have been my husband Robin’s full-time carer. When we went into lockdown, it became increasingly difficult for me to manage Robin and, after great heart-searching and tears, I decided it was time for my dear man to go into full-time care.

After 45 years together I found it very difficult to let go. Then I saw the announcement about becoming a member of the Health Protection Research Unit’s (HPRU) Public Involvement Strategy Group.

Having been involved with charities over many years at a national, regional and local level I thought I had something I could bring to the party, as one might say.

My career took me into the private and public sector and I ended my full-time employment as Community Liaison Manager at the University of the West of England (UWE) in 2008. As you can imagine, it was very hard to let go, but Robin needed me.

I have been a member of the Patient Partnership Group at Hanham Surgery and the Patient and Public Involvement Forum South Gloucestershire, and am now a lay member of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Exceptional Funding Panel.

I wanted to give back in some way and thought by joining the HPRU Public Involvement Strategy Group I might be able to do this.