A tribute to Dolapo (Della) Ogunleye

Last updated on 6 Nov 2023

We’re so sorry to hear that our friend and colleague Dolapo (Della) Ogunleye has died.

Dolapo, also known as Della, was part of our public involvement network. She helped to develop our strategy, and worked with us on projects to make sure that they involved the right people in the right way. We are one of many organisations and charities that Della worked with. She told us about how she got involved and her experiences.

We are so lucky that Della found us at the HRA, and we loved hearing her voice. She was never shy, but always gentle in the way she suggested to us how we could improve. She challenged us to make change at the HRA, telling us firmly that she did not want to be the only Black person in the room. She held us to account, asking for evidence of where we were doing things differently.

Della’s work made the HRA better and we will miss her wise counsel, as well as her wonderful laugh.

As we prepare to share the progress we’ve made eighteen months since the launch of our strategy, we will remember Della, and our shared ambition which she helped to create, to include everyone in health and social care research. We will hold ourselves to her high standards and ask ourselves, ‘what would Della say?’

Thank you Della.

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