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Showing 43 Projects from UCL Engagement:
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2019 Beacon Bursaries awarded
UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Beacon Bursary public engagement funding.The aim of this scheme is to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL by enabling UCL staff and postgraduate students to:Explore mutually beneficial engagement between communities and UCL research and teaching.Be innovative in their engagement.Evaluate, learn from and share their engagement activities.The Beacon Bursary funding scheme supports UCL’s Public Engagement Strategy which aims to embed public engagement as a normal, valued activity for UCL staff and studentsWe have funded eight projects in this round, three of which involve communities and local organisations in east London.The projects are:Julia Bailey – Primary Care and Population HealthContraception Choices.Contraception choices will offer a series of outreach workshops and an International Women's Day public engagement event to engage a range of audiences in discussions about contraception. This project will reach communities such as the queer, trans and non-binary communities, homeless people and migrant women, working with groups including Open Doors in Hackney and Queer Newham. It will facilitate discussions to find more about the contraception needs of these 'hard-to-reach' communities, and to set agendas for future research.Dr Julia Bailey is an associate professor in Primary Care at the UCL eHealth Unit, and a specialty doctor in community sexual health in South East LondonEllie Buckley and Ali Northcott – Centre for Research in Education and Autism (CRAE)Embodying Difference – A multi-platform event exploring neurodiversity and creativity.Embodying Difference will be a one-off event creating a public dialogue between artistic and scientific disciplines and modes of research. The event will explore new ways to generate knowledge from different perspectives - highlighting the strengths of the neurodivergent art practitioners, showcasing their insights, and highlighting how their neurodiversity and co-existing conditions such as autism, dyspraxia, ADHD, dyslexia and synaesthesia enhance and inform their creativity and artistic practice.Ellie Buckley is a current PhD student in the Centre for Research in Autism and Education. Ali Northcott is the Artist-in-Residence and Honorary Researcher for the Centre for Research in Autism and EducationRachel Frost –  Primary Care and Population HealthUpping our game: achieving meaningful patient and public collaboration in primary care research and teaching across the whole department.Upping our game will further develop PCPH’s existing project-level patient and public involvement to transform and embed long term public and patient involvement through all aspects of Departmental strategy (research, teaching, impact and patient involvement).Dr Rachael Frost is a Research Associate in the Department of Primary Care and Population Health.Valentina Giordano – Bartlett School of PlanningPlace Alliance: Child-centred urban planning.This will involve children in a design workshop to explore the question: What would child-centred urban planning look like? Students from Gainsborough Primary School, near UCL East, will be involved through an assembly, co-design workshops and the chance to share their work through public exhibitions.Valentina Giordano is a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning where she manages the Place Alliance.Ezra Horbury – English Language and LiteratureWriting Trans LivesWriting Trans Lives builds on the ‘Trans Studies, Trans lives symposium’ to bring together aspiring trans/non-binary writers with established trans/non-binary writers through three workshops, a public reading and potential publication. The established writers will provide practical advice and develop aspiring writers’ expertise and experience at writing their own narratives.Dr Ezra Horbury is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English Language and Literature.Jaqueline McDermott – UCL Cancer InstituteVisible Vulvas – Artistic Explorations of Living with Vulval Disease.Visible Vulvas will involve the delivery of three workshops around vulval health awareness leading to an art exhibition co-produced by scientists, women living with vulval disease, and artists and, hopefully, taking place in the Vagina Museum in Camden. The project will increase awareness and understanding of vulval disease amongst the general public and the medical profession.Dr Jackie McDermott is an Academic Gynaecological Pathology Consultant at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustNaaheed Mukadam – Faculty of Brain SciencesRe-framing the dementia narrative in east London.Re-framing will co-develop and run four art based workshops to raise awareness of dementia risk factors and the benefits of dementia diagnosis in the South Asian community in east London. Working with community groups such as the Sonali Gardens Day Centre and Kobi Nazrul Community Centre, it will gather the communities’ input regarding research priorities from this group.Dr Naaheed Mukadam is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow Consultant in the Division of PsychiatryMelanie Ramdarshan Bold – Department of Information StudiesThe Green Room play and workshop, Theatre PeckhamThis project will provide opportunities and a platform for authors of colour; Drawing on UCL research, the project will increase the awareness of theatre audiences of the experiences of authors of colour in the British publishing industry. To achieve this the project will co-create a reciprocal dialogue and partnership between academia and community stakeholders (Words of Colour and Theatre Peckham) and create a longer and larger-scale project.Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in the Department of Information Studies. 
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2020 Beacon Bursaries awarded
UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Beacon Bursary public engagement funding.The aim of this scheme is to advance the practice and culture of public and community engagement within UCL by enabling UCL staff and postgraduate students to:Explore mutually beneficial engagement between communities and UCL research and teaching.Be innovative in their engagement.Evaluate, learn from and share their engagement activities.The Beacon Bursary funding scheme supports UCL’s Public Engagement Strategy which aims to embed public engagement as a normal, valued activity for UCL staff and students.We have funded eleven projects in this round, three of which involve communities and local organisations in east London. The projects are:Jacki Stansfeld, Maria Long, Joanna Moncrieff  - Division of Psychiatry Perspectives and priorities for research into relapse outcomes – a service user-led engagement project Relapse prevention is a core focus of the treatment and care of people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and related conditions in mental health services in the UK. Jacki, Maria and Joanna work on a trial evaluating a structured reduction of antipsychotic medication, in which relapse is a key outcome. With this bursary, members of the RADAR Lived Experience Advisory Panel will be given a leadership role in using their own perspective to redefine “relapse” as it relates to people living with schizophrenia and similar disorders. They will use 4 online sessions to plan the project, decide how to code existing relapse data used by the trial and then consider how this compares to their own lived experience. The findings will be written up and used to inform an academic article and blog.   Programme manager/research fellow Dr. Jacki Stansfeld, deputy trial manager and postgraduate research student Maria Long, and Professor Joanna Moncrieff all work at the Division of Psychiatry.  Nikolett Puskas - Institute for Global ProsperityMove! Nikolett seeks to address public wellbeing in Beirut. Young people and adults will have the chance to take part in twice-weekly sessions over a period of two months, utilising public spaces to explore movement and activity. The aim is to engage the local community in group activities around physical and mental wellbeing and raise awareness of how public spaces can be used for community wellbeing - feeding back their research findings into the real world and making meaningful impact on members of the public.Nikolett Puskas is a postgraduate research student at the Institute for Global ProsperityMarie Williams -  Institute for Global ProsperityDemocratising outdoor play amongst urban refugee communities.Marie studies outdoor play solutions that adopt the local heritage and environment for both Kenyan and refugee children within Kitengela, Kenya. The bursary will support an outdoor exhibition of some of the outputs of her work, collaborating with a local artist to make interactive outdoor play spaces from local materials and hold a two-week consultation on them and their use, as well as encouraging social interaction. Marie Williams is a postgraduate research student at the Institute for Global Prosperity.Thomas Morgan Evans - Slade School of Fine ArtConcrete CanvasThrough this bursary Thomas will fund 10 weekly four-hour sessions for children and young people  from and around the D’Eynsford Estate in south east London. They will work with a community artist and UCL MA and PhD students to assist in creating a public art work on the basketball court, taking part in learning exercises inspired by the mural painting that is currently taking place and discussing its design. The project aims to support and encourage community home learning and physical activity for local young people, in response to the changes to day-to-day living caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.Dr Thomas Morgan Evans is a teaching fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art.Maryam  Bandukda – UCL Interaction CentreCo-creating artful representations of Blind people’s experience at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Maryam will develop her approach to co-creation and relationships with a literature review before recruiting Blind and partially sighted members of the community to share their experiences.  The team will host a workshop to co-design a piece of art representing the participants' experience that will be further developed by an artist from the community and exhibited at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Maryam Bandukda is a postgraduate research student in the UCL Interaction Centre.   Jagjeet Lally - UCL Department of HistoryA community-produced digital gallery of British Punjabi-Sikh history.Jagjeet will co-create an online exhibition with members of the British-Punjabi-Sikh community, building and developing previous engagement with community participants and museum curators.Dr Jagjeet Lally is a Lecturer in the UCL Department of History.Thomas Keeley - Bartlett School of ArchitectureHedge SchoolTom will host a series of conversations and events (both online and/or face to face depending on COVID) to explore what it means to live together across borders. This architecture and landscape event will be in the tradition of Hedge Schools -  illicit forms of education in Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries when the penal laws banned Catholics from accessing formal education.  ‘Hedge School' aims to draw out and chronicle the contested history of the Irish border at a critical juncture in its own timeline, and will work collaboratively, involving local people across communities and invited experts to co-write an experimental bilingual text. This approach aims to share historical and architectural findings gathered as part of Tom’s doctoral research in relation to lived experience, personal testimony and site-specific knowledges, and in doing so break down the barriers between historians, experts and publics. The text will be shared on a website alongside his PhD research outputs and at a Royal Geographical Society event in Sept ‘21. Thomas Keeley is a Teaching Fellow in the Bartlett School of Architecture.Jessica  Rees - Division of Psychiatry  Dementia rarely travels alone - managing your body and brain. This project will co-develop and facilitate dementia education workshops in physical health support groups in East London. The aim of this project is knowledge exchange- the UCL team will provide information on which strategies can be used to manage physical health and memory problems; participants will then share their experiences of managing their health, including less know or new strategies, with the research community. Jessica will produce a short film with workshop attendees about the link between physical health and memory, to be used in the UCL MRes in Brain Science teaching. The bursary will also support wifi and Zoom access for three third-sector organisations that support physical health conditions associated with memory.Jessica Rees is a post-graduate research student in the Division of Psychiatry. Claire McAndrew and Mollie Claypool - The Bartlett School of Architecture Public Participation at AUAR Labs: A Pilot Programme.Breaking gender stereotypes in the construction sector, this pilot programme will support three Knowle West residents to explore what impact expanded ideas of participation in construction and home-building could offer micro-sites or larger housing developments. Dr Claire McAndrew is a Senior Research Fellow in Public Engagement at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Mollie Claypool is a Lecturer in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture. Emily Patterson and Jo Guile - Institute of Ophthalmology and the Slade School of Fine Art Red, Green, Blue, East. Emily and Jo have co-designed a series of workshops with Into Focus, an East London charity-funded organisation specialising in photography. They will be running these workshops, which explore the science, art, and experience of colour within Tower Hamlets. The project has developed through a collaboration that was formed during UCL Culture’s Trellis programme and will culminate with a public art exhibition.   Dr Emily Patterson is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Jo Guile is an Artist and Technician at the Slade School of Fine Art.Alexandra Albert – Department of GeographyBringing Tower Hamlets Asset Mapping to Life. Alexandra will support the development of an interactive, online community map resource for parents of children under 5 years old in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. She will collaborate in running a series of workshops with the target public group to bring the map to life and ensure the map can be maintained and updated, and that it is a useful resource for families in the borough.   Dr Alexandra Albert is a Research Fellow on ActEarly UK Preventative Research Partnership, in the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group (ExCiteS) in the Department of Geography.
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2020 Train and Engage funded projects
UCL Culture is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Train and Engage funding.Train and Engage is a training and funding program for postgraduate research students, who are looking to connect their work with public groups. We are pleased to announce the 7 successful projects awarded in the latest round of funding and brief summaries are below.Siegfried Wagner – Institute of Ophthalmology.Windows of the Soul.This project will unite members of the public, patients, and scientists at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital to communicate the effect of general health conditions on their eyes using the medium of art. Patients and members of the public will be recruited through clinics at Moorfields, digital callouts, links with charitable organisations and London-based corporate organisations. An art exhibition will be launched in a central London venue consisting of images of how the eye changes in systemic diseases and artwork from patients affected by these conditions. The evolution of original film photographs to modern high-resolution scanning techniques to more recent artificial intelligence methods will be explored in the exhibition. Following the launch, the material will be displayed in the Moorfields Eye Hospital Art Section for four months. A monthly symposium at Moorfields will guide attendees through each piece of work and also provide a platform for discussion with the patients involved in the exhibition. In addition, to expand the potential audience of this project, a website illustrating digitised versions of the content shown will be available.  Myrofora Kakoulidou –  Institute of Education.Involving children, teachers, parents and researchers in dialogues around school wellbeing.Considering that children spend a large proportion of the day at school, schools provide an ideal environment to promote child wellbeing by implementing practices tailored to children’s particular needs (Department for Education [DfE], 2018). School-based wellbeing projects that actively involve children, teachers and parents in conversations around school wellbeing may be particularly relevant in post-lockdown times facilitating the transition from the pre-COVID 19 to the new reality. During this project, Year 5 children (aged 9-10 years old) will be involved in discussions and creative activities around their own school wellbeing and co-create a school blog to share their ideas with their own community. Children’s blog will provide the stimulation for teachers, parents and the project team to bring their different expertise to the table and exchange ideas around wellbeing in schools during an online event. Jenny Ray - Psychology and Language Sciences and Olha PryymakEmbracing the power of art and tea to create positive changes in practice that better support children with speech, language and communication needs.Jenny will work with children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) to discuss and create visual representations of the key research outcomes using Duplo, Lego, paint, mood boards, and online quiz platforms. Children from the whole school will be invited to participate in painting a mural screen for the tea sessions, depicting their ideas about speech and language therapy. In this way, many different children and staff within this east London primary school community can be involved and feel proud of their contributions. Olha and Jenny will then run a workshop with the children with SLCN to explore how they would most like to be supported in their therapy sessions. They will spark the imagination using herbs, leaves, and plants, linking these to keywords and phrases, for example, ‘enthusiasm’ - lemongrass, and ‘take your time’ - chamomile.  Children will weave their selected plants into simple mandalas. The events will culminate in an afternoon of tea sessions for the "teams around the child": parents/carers, teaching assistants, teachers, special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos), headteachers, and speech and language therapists. The children’s visual representations of the research outcomes and nature mandalas will be on display during the tea sessions. Through this gentle coming together in mind and body, we will create an opportunity to share responses, feelings, ideas, and reflections on the research outcomes and create a clear plan with tangible, positive steps going forwards.Natallia Kharytaniuk– The UCL Ear Institute.Living with superficial siderosis – patients’ journey.This project, consisting of several activities, will provide an insight into the challenges of being diagnosed and living with a rare neurological condition called infratentorial superficial siderosis (iSS), the hallmarks of which are hearing and balance impairment. Through first-hand patients’ accounts and a dedicated information-sharing event we would like to bring together patients with iSS, their families and carers, clinicians and interested members of the public, to share their experience and knowledge, and as a learning opportunity about this rare condition. This event and the patients’ narratives will be recorded and made into a short informative video. These will be shared on a dedicated website set up in collaboration with UCL IoN Stroke Research Centre and EI to further raise awareness around iSS. We will apply for permission for this activity to be featured as part of ‘Rare Disease Day’ and as part of ‘World Hearing Day’.Amanda Ford Spora – Institute of Archaeology.Co-producing a Manga_Zine with teens using digital replicas of ancient objects.This will be a collaboration with a group of teen participants (aged 13-15 years), who will engage with digital replicas of objects from ancient Sudan and Egypt, as well as artistic pieces created by focus group participants previously; with the purpose of exploring the creation of Manga cartoons as a commentary about ‘authenticity’ of ancient artefacts and the impact of the past in the present. The main output of the project will be a co-produced Manga_Zine of the collected manga commentaries. It is anticipated that the co-produced Manga_Zine of the collected Manga cartoon commentaries will act as a companion piece to viewing the replica objects and their originals, which are part of the Petrie Museum and Manchester Museum. The Manga cartoons and Manga_Zine will be translated into Arabic and produced in both Arabic and English to make it accessible to the source communities of these ancient objects.Rebecca Graham– Division of Medicine.Lungs for Living: How can we promote screening for lung cancer?During this project, we aim to promote awareness of early detection and lung cancer screening, and to encourage discussion on these topics. Many lung cancers are diagnosed at a late stage, where tumours cannot be surgically removed. Screening for lung cancers in at-risk groups could help to identify these at an earlier and more manageable stage; this is being investigated in the SUMMIT clinical trial. As well as sharing information about the research that we do, the project aims to generate conversations around attitudes towards screening and barriers to attending. Particularly, we would like to explore how COVID-19 has affected the public’s feelings towards screening and how we could make them feel more comfortable with the idea of attending. This will be achieved by engaging with a group who might benefit from screening but may be concerned about attending a non-essential medical appointment in the current public health climate. The project will work with BAME communities which have a high prevalence of smoking and have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To explore how best to reach this group, we will collaborate closely with representative members of the public audience to co-design an event intended to engage a wider groupJen Datiles – School of Pharmacy.PLANTS ON OUR PLATES: sharing (hi)stories of botanical foods and medicines.project description to follow shortly.
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2021 Beacon Bursaries awarded
Following receipt of the largest number of applications in the past four years, UCL Engagement is funding 12 projects from across UCL that will engage with public groups as part of research and teaching. The projects represent different methods of engagement; from using art-based practices to co-create knowledge, to participatory workshops and place-based intervention. In all cases these projects are bringing people together to exchange knowledge, skills and perspectives.The successful projects are working with communities across London, the UK and beyond, many of whom are not often heard in academia. Over the year, UCL Engagement will support these projects, ensuring that learning is captured along with beneficial impacts on both research and teaching within UCL and on the people and communities we engage with.This year saw many postgraduate students both applying for and being awarded a Beacon Bursary. This enthusiasm from those starting out on their research careers helps make a reality of UCL Engagement's ambitions to enable brighter ideas through deeper connections.Below are our projects. For additional information, please contact UCL Engagement on publicengagement@ucl.ac.uk Trust in Pictures: Co-creating a children’s book as a site for research engagement with care-experienced children, young people, and foster carerEva Sprecher, Postgraduate Research Student & Research Fellow Department of Clinical, Educational and Health PsychologyMost research concerning children, young people and their caregivers is designed, conducted, and disseminated in ways that are inaccessible for these groups to meaningfully engage with and bring into their lived caregiving relationships. . This project will bring together researchers with interest in trust (specifically ‘epistemeic trust’) in relationships with the experienced of foster carers and care-experienced young people to create an illustrated children’s book. This project will help stimulate discussions about trust in foster care relationships and ultimately create a resource that empowers children living in care, foster carers and social work professionals to engage with research about trust in foster care. How to actively include people experiencing socioeconomic deprivation in research from participation to disseminationAbi Woodard, Research Assistant, Primary Care and Population HealthMegan Armstrong, Senior Research Fellow, Primary Care and Population HealthPeople experiencing socioeconomic deprivation have lower inclusion in research despite having worse health outcomes, such as increased multimorbidity risk. The project will engage with people experiencing socioeconomic deprivation who have long-term health conditions, to explore the barriers and enablers to participation in research, whilst highlighting the benefits of research involvement. We will do this through two participatory workshops. These will explore pre-conceptions surrounding what research entails, by identifying the barriers associated with engagement in research activities among this population. We will also explore how to disseminate health research in creative ways and co-produce a visual output with an aim to reach underserved groups and different communities of practice. Co-creating balance exercises with people who live with Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Louie Lee, Postgraduate Research Student, Department of Neuromuscular DiseasesPeople with Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease (CMT) experience poorer balance than the general population. This can lead to falls and a reduced ability to participate in the things that are important to them.  Multi-sensory balance exercises have been helpful for people with other conditions, and our early studies show promising results in people with CMT. In this project we will work with people who live with this condition to co-create a new, mixed ability, balance exercise programme. In the second stage of the project, an East London artist will help the participants to design an illustrated exercise booklet describing the exercises.  Thinking With Our Hands – Pensando Con Nuestras Manos  Javiera Sandoval Limarí, Postgraduate Research Student & Teaching Assistant, Culture, Communication and Media, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and SocietyThis project connects UCL with AMPLA, a grassroots organisation of migrant women and mothers from Latin America, and Gasworks, a non-profit contemporary arts organisation. The project will mobilise art engagement as a research methodology. It will do so through a series of workshops exploring clay modelling, which aim to create spaces for Latin American women to think together, connect as a community, and collectively explore their identities and experiences of migrant womanhood and motherhood, support their wellbeing, and share their voices with the city we inhabit. The knowledge produced and the voices of participants will be disseminated through a zine collaboratively written which will be distributed both physically and digitally through social media. ‘First do no harm’: Understanding health and social care service harms from a survivor perspectiveClaire Powell, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Child HealthWe will consult adult survivors of violence and abuse on their experiences of harms within health and social care services. This is building on a study of outcomes for interventions for child maltreatment and domestic violence in which survivors identified service harms as an area for further work. Through workshops with survivors we will co-produce a digital resource to facilitate ‘harm-awareness’ in services that will support service providers to work towards reducing the re-traumatisation of survivors. The aim of the digital resource is to make the findings accessible beyond academic publications and to raise awareness of harms in service settings. Time to look again at HIV and relationshipsTom Witney, Research Fellow, Primary Care and Population HealthAlthough 20% of people living with HIV in the UK have an HIV negative partner, mixed-HIV status relationships are often ‘invisible’. This contributes to the persistence of HIV stigma, which continues to have a significant impact on people living with the virus, and those around them. The aim of this project is to make mixed-HIV status relationships visible and address HIV stigma by mobilising the findings of recently completed PhD research to co-create a ‘guide’ to HIV and relationships that will challenge public attitudes and support people in mixed-HIV status relationships. The project will work with Positive East, a community support organisation based in east London that has worked to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities affected by HIV for more than 30 years. Violence against women and girls: is history repeating itself? An exploration of the resonance of early feminist Christine de Pizan’s works among 21st century women and women’s community organisations    Cleo Fatoorehchi, Postgraduate Taught Student, UCL HistoryJane Gilbert, Professor of Medieval Literature and Critical Theory, SELCS-Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural InquiryThis project will raise awareness of the late medieval female writer Christine de Pizan, who was the first professional writer in vernacular French, as an early feminist writer, while exploring whether her works can inform thinking about feminism today. Through a participatory workshop, we will introduce Christine de Pizan to women attached to the Feminist Library, an autonomous community space based in south London. Bringing together academic researchers with grassroots organisations as well as interested individuals, we will discuss the relevance of Christine’s pre-modern thinking for post-modern women, particularly in the context of fighting against violence against women and girls – a subject as important in the 15th century as it is today. ‘At home at school?’ School experiences of young people in contexts of inequality.  The role of sociological perspectives and creative (research) methods. Sara Bragg, Lecturer, Education, Practice and Society, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and SocietyThis project will co-produce new knowledge about (in)equalities in school, working with a local campaign group Class Divide and young people aged 11-18 from East Brighton, an area of high poverty and low educational attainment. The project will run creative workshops to gather accounts of young people’s school experiences, connect these to sociological research, and present the outcomes in accessible multi-media forms to wider audiences including local parents, schools and policy makers.  It hopes thereby to help schools become more welcoming environments for young people from disadvantaged communities.  The workshop materials and approaches will be made available for re-use in other communities and contexts. Not Just Beauty: Using Beauty Salons to raise awareness of gender equality among South Asian Migrant WomenNandita Dutta, Postgraduate Research Student, SELCS-Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural InquiryThe aim of this public engagement project is twofold: first, to equip South Asian beauty salon workers with conceptual knowledge about issues related to gender, gender-based discrimination, and sexual and reproductive health so that they can provide appropriate guidance and signposting to their customers; second, to co-produce with them concrete recommendations on how local organisations and charities can engage beauty salon workers in order to reach out to communities of first-generation migrant women from South Asia. This will be achieved through a series of consultative workshops to be organised in two beauty salons in London where salon workers as well as customers are first-generation migrant women from Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan.Improving emotional wellbeing through the senses for people living with dementia in Waltham ForestDanielle Nimmons, NIHR In-Practice Fellow, Research Fellow, Primary Care and Population HealthNarin Aker, NIHR SPCR PhD student, Primary Care and Population HealthPushpa Nair, NIHR In-Practice Fellow, Research Fellow, Primary Care and Population HealthPoor emotional wellbeing is common in people living with dementia and is associated with poor physical health. The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted on wellbeing for people living with dementia, for example, due to reduced social interactions. This project aligns with our research in mental health and dementia in diverse populations. We will conduct four workshops with people living with dementia and their carers from diverse ethnic backgrounds in Waltham Forest to raise awareness and explore how the senses can be utilised to improve emotional wellbeing. We will share our research findings, while informing future research and public engagement activities.    Block to BlockClaire McAndrew, Co-Director of AUAR (Automated Architecture) Labs at The Bartlett School of Architecture.Mollie Claypool, Co-Director of AUAR (Automated Architecture) Labs at The Bartlett School of Architecture.Melissa MeanThis project builds upon partnerships that were formed via a process of engaged scholarship in Knowle West, Bristol during Spring 2020 through a circular economy initiative. It makes use of circa 200 modular housing blocks from the recent projects Block West (Bristol, 2020) and House Block (Hackney, 2021). Seeding a community-led initiative that redistributes the blocks for meanwhile use, it seeks to broaden the reach of hands-on engagement with alternative modes of housing production within Knowle West. Understanding and facilitating mental health self-management amongst LGBTQI+ young people in the communityRosa Town, Postgraduate Research Student, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health PsychologyThis co-produced event and resulting video will be an opportunity to exchange knowledge with LGBTQI+ young people in the UK about the mental health self-management strategies they and others have found useful, drawing on the findings of my PhD so far. During the event, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families’ LGBTQI+ mental health booklet and ‘On My Mind’ self-care resources will be shared to support participants. A discussion will be facilitated regarding participants' experiences of using self-management resources and strategies. Finally, a short video will be co-designed with a sub-set of participants to share LGBTQI+ mental health self-management experiences and strategies more broadly. Further Information on UCL Engagement: UCL Engagement takes a collaborative approach to enabling brighter ideas through deeper connections. We focus on equipping UCL to listen and respond to community need, locally and globally. We spark ideas of how drawing on community-based experience and assets can lead to collaborative success in solving challenges and creating positive change together. We expand the conversations which inform UCL’s research and teaching, particularly to include those whose voices are heard less often or have been drowned out in the past. Importantly, we are committed to sharing what we learn about how to work with others to achieve more with government (national and local), UKRI and other funders, the Higher Education sector and beyond.UCL Engagement is based in the Office of the UCL Vice-Provost, Research, Innovation & Global Engagement (OVPRIGE) within Library, Culture, Collections & Open Science (LCCOS).The Beacon Bursary funding round is also support by UCL East’s Community Engagement programme supporting projects taking place in east London.UCL Engagement was established in 2008 as the Public Engagement Unit. Since then, UCL Engagement has awarded over £275,000 of funding to 164 projects through the Beacon Bursary scheme.
A horse weathervane in a blue wash of colour
2021 Train and Engage funded projects
UCL Engagement is delighted to announce the awardees in the latest round of Train and Engage funding.Train and Engage is a training and funding program for postgraduate research students, who are looking to connect their work with public groups. We are pleased to announce the eight successful projects awarded in the latest round of funding and brief summaries are below.Mai-Carmen Requena-Komuro – Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Brain Sciences.“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” – lessening stigma on dementia in Chinese communities living in London.This project will empower Chinese residents in London who live with a diagnosis of dementia to talk about their experience of dementia in an open and non-stigmatised environment together with a family member or a close friend. They will be invited to their local community centre for a kite making activity that will serve as a prompt for conversations on dementia guided by two Mandarin and Cantonese speaking researchers in dementia.  Each pair will make a personalised paper kite by inscribing Chinese calligraphy characters representing their identity and by attaching coloured strings reflecting the diversity of symptoms they experience. Everyone will then be taken to a nearby park to fly their kites, a frequently loved activity in many Chinese communities, symbolically letting go of the discomfort and cultural pressures linked to their diagnosis. Photographs will be taken throughout the day and will be posted on the community centre’s website.Emine Pehlivan –  Education, Practice and Society, Institute of Education.Awareness Months: Learning my heritage culture through singing and folk dance.This project aims to deliver a series of cultural sessions to Kurdish descent young people aged 11-14, who participate in a supplementary school in North London. The aims include to create a vehicle for youth to learn about Kurdish culture and to create a space for them to discuss sense of connection or separation to their cultural heritage.  By learning about Kurdish cultural heritage through art, music, and folk-dancing, the participants will feel re-connected and would hopefully develop healthy relationships with their peers and schools. In partnership with a community organisation, we created an open space for the youth (a) to highlight educational issues faced in British schools; (b) propose some solutions to overcome these issues.  Accordingly, the feeling of disconnection from Kurdish cultural heritage and desire to learn about it have been the main themes of the discussion sessions. This project is the product of those sessions held in the community centre with the Kurdish youth.Amanda Clery - Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Population Health Sciences.Bringing families and health visiting together.Health visiting is a key component of the support young families receive. It is important that parents understand the role that a health visitor plays in the basket of services available to them and their child, and the opportunities to improve this understanding through research. This project will be a workshop and play day to bring families and health visiting together. It will be a day of activities including learning about, and contributing to health visiting research, sharing experiences, and engaging with researchers and other parents, hearing from a health visitor about what they do, and a talk and play session for children and parents. Overall, the project will be an opportunity for parents to learn, ask questions, and get involved in research while meeting other families.Sana Zard – Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Brain SciencesExploring mental health needs within the Kuwaiti Bidoon community in London.The Kuwaiti Bidoon are a group of stateless persons who reside in Kuwait, who, as a result of their legal and administrative status, face systematic discrimination and a lack of access to basic rights. The Kuwaiti Bidoon community in the UK are extremely marginalised and there can be difficulties accessing and engaging with healthcare services. There is no existing research into the mental health experiences of this group. This public engagement project will aim to establish a sustainable relationship with the Kuwaiti Community Association (a voluntary organisation which supports members of the Bidoon community in London), in order to involve this community in shaping the direction of research to respond to community need, and to provide the Kuwaiti Community Association with an opportunity to access consultation from psychologists to co-create a mental health workshop, as well as to inform their own community projects about raising mental health awareness.Aneeza Pervez – Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education.Fostering Kindness and Helpfulness in Primary School Children.The project aims to foster kindness and helpfulness in children via dialogue and classroom activities. The public engagement activity will be divided into three main phases:  Phase I: online focus group sessions will be conducted with teachers. The session will aim to investigate teachers’ perspectives on prosocial behaviours and gain insights into existing teaching strategies that aim to foster kindness and helpfulness in children.   Phase II: This phase will involve the development of character sketches of helpful/prosocial children. These character description will be based on results from the first study of my doctoral project and on the insights gathered during phase I of the PE activity. These descriptive sketches will then be shared with a designer to help create digital cue cards. An information booklet will also be prepared for the teachers.   Phase III: A workshop activity will be held, where the activity leader will share the engagement guidelines and resources (character cue cards) with teachers. This will be followed by a discussion on the most effective ways of incorporating the resources in existing teaching framework.   Laurette Bukasa – Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, Population Health Sciences.Involving women living with HIV in dialogues around outcomes of children born HIV-free.  This project aims to inform and consult with a group of women living with HIV on the surveillance and research of their children who are born HIV-free. Current research plans include an exploration of birth, cancer, and mortality outcomes of these children in the UK.    Through partnership with a key peer-support network for mothers living with HIV, two focus group sessions will be held enabling women to provide their feedback and ideas on key aspects of the project and engage in dialogues with other members of their community about the research. Each participant will be provided with resources to creatively record their ideas during the sessions, and their discussions with their wider network. This feedback will be collated and used to frame the research agenda, and future engagement activities with the affected communities.  The findings from the project will be published in a co-authored peer-reviewed open access publication.Claire Grant – Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Population Health Sciences.Maternal health and care proceedings.This project aims to engage with women and organisations affected by maternal health and child protection to inform the direction and conduction of research work. A project advisory group will be established which will act as a ‘knowledge-exchange’ partnership between the research team and publics. Members of the project advisory group will be invited to take part in one of two collaborative workshop sessions (February 2022) as well as comment on research materials by email. Creating a dialogue between researchers, birth mothers and support staff interested in, or affected by, child protection will enrich the quality and meaning of the research and provide a forum for ongoing communication and collaboration.Erica Ranzato – Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education.Teaching mathematics to students with Down syndrome.Mathematical abilities are a particular area of difficulty for students with Down syndrome (DS) and this has an effect on their quality of life and level of independence. As reported by the International guidelines for the education of learners with DS, the learning of students with DS can be enhanced with good teaching and tailored support. This project aims to give a voice to teaching staff supporting students with DS in primary school settings, to reflect on the current teaching practices and to co-develop learning resources to support mathematical skills of their students.   Participants will take part in 3 online sessions. During Session 1, participants will share their experiences on supporting mathematical abilities of the students they are working with. In Session 2, they will co-develop learning resources and tailor learning targets. In Session 3, participants will be asked to discuss their experience on using the resources co-created.
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