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Sandwiches and Refreshments: Telegraph Hotel, 157 Corporation Street, Coventry, CV1 1GU


Prof Michael Chappell - Professor, School of Engineering & Academic Lead for the Health Global Research Priority

Welcome and Introductions


Dr Heidi Ashton - Professor in Creative Industries

The impact of Dance on Mental Health

Having recently published a book chapter on work intensity, flow and being in the Zone with Prof Mark Banks, Heidi has recently turned her attention to researching dance work and the pandemic. Within this talk specifically, Heidi will discuss the impact of dance and how dance can positively impact the lives of those that suffer from poor mental health and/or degenerative brain conditions and can draw on the pandemic to highlight examples of this. Heidi is also a professional dancer and such will outline her academic, and personal, experiences, in relation to the positivity of dance.


Danny Dhadda, Dementia Connect Local Services Manager, Coventry, & Nikki Fraser, Dementia Adviser, Alzheimer's SocietyLink opens in a new window

Singing for the Brain

In this talk Danny & Nikki will share information about Singing for the Brain and the benefits of music for someone living with dementia. They will also give a brief overview of the services provided by the Alzheimer's Society.


Prof Joanna Collingwood - Head of the Trace Metals in Medicine Laboratory

Aging metal elements in the human brain

In this talk Joanna will show how we use synchrotron x-rays and MRI scanners to look at the distribution and form of elements such as iron, copper, and zinc in the human brain, and will explain the relevance to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Dr Liz Barry - English and Comparative Literary Studies

The Art of Dementia: Laughter, Performance and the Brain

This talk will think about the possibilities offered by poetry and performance for enhancing communication and wellbeing in those living with dementia. It will argue that forms of art can help those with dementia to organise and anticipate future time. It will explore the way that aspects of communication such as tone, gesture and laughter are used inventively by people living with dementia, using examples from literary memoirs. Finally, it will think about another condition of the ageing brain, Parkinson's Disease, and a groundbreaking and revealing production of Samuel Beckett's play Endgame performed by two famous American actors living with the condition.

6.10 Comfort break


Tree - A performance piece by Highly Sprung (duration 30 mins)

Tree explores DNA and Genetics and highlights the real differences that science can make in the lives of people who suffer chromosomal disorders.

Tree uncovers the magic of what is happening inside our bodies right now and how very special and unique each individual is.

Learn more here.


Susannah Heffernan, Author in Residence

Arts Interventions and Degenerative Brain Conditions

Susannah will discuss her experiences of how Arts Interventions can help to have a positive influence on those that suffer from degenerative brain conditions, and poor mental health. Susannah will share with us an extract from her new book, as well as a short story to demonstrate how the importance of the written word, and how it can come to impact our overall health, and improve the quality of our lives.

You can hear Susannah's story here


India Holme - Research and Impact Development Manager (Regional) and Catherine Lehane - Spoken Word Artist

India will share her recent personal experiences of parental illness and end of life care regarding both brain cancer (mother) and dementia (father), whilst highlighting arts intervention resources and tools in place to help others across the city. India, Catherine, and their Mum (Sarah), all found writing and creativity to be a cathartic release. Kate will share two short poems with the audience.


Panel Discussions and Q&A

An opportunity for the audience to ask our panel members any questions that they may have.

7:30pm - 8:30pm