Dr Nicola Abraham’s Collaborative Intergenerational Project is Shortlisted for Awards | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Congratulations to Central’s Dr Nicola Abraham and a team from the NHS's Imperial Hospital Trust who, together with a cohort of Central students and alumni, have been shortlisted for two awards for their intergenerational process drama projects. The projects included several years of 2nd year BA DATE collaborative outreach projects in support of patients living with and receiving care for dementia, a VR MA Applied Theatre project with patients who have experienced a stroke, a MA Applied Theatre film project for acute dialysis patients and her intergenerational project work with the NHS and 4 schools in London. 

The intergenerational project, originally conceived by Nurse Consultant (Dementia) Jo James, aim to reduce agitation of patients on wards in order to allow for treatment to be administered, to improve wellbeing through intergenerational collaboration, and to provide moments of joy and discovery for all participants. The interventions designed by Dr Abraham are part of a bigger offer of many multi arts projects, however this one is unique in that it uses process drama workshops to encourage intergenerational interaction, communication and play. 

In May, Dr Abraham and her students were named as some of the Nation’s Lifesavers – amongst the top 100 individuals based in universities whose work is saving lives and making a life-changing difference to our health and wellbeing. They were recognised as part of the Universities UK MadeAtUni campaign, which brings to life the impact of universities on everyday lives. 

In August it was announced that the project, entitled “Imperial College Healthcare Trust, Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing Using Intergenerational Activities”, had been shortlisted for an HSJ Award in the category of Mental Health Innovation of the Year. 

The HSJ Awards are the standard for healthcare excellence. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process, the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector. 

Then, in September, the project was announced as a finalist for the National Dementia Care Awards in the category of Outstanding Arts and Creativity in Dementia Care. 

The National Dementia Care Awards is an annual event organised by The Journal of Dementia Care, a multidisciplinary journal for all professional staff working with people with dementia, in hospitals, nursing and residential care homes, day units and the community. The awards were created to recognise the very best people in the dementia care sector, whose exceptional work and contributions make better, person-centred care a reality. 

”I am very proud of our students and the work that has been achieved through our exciting ongoing collaboration with Imperial’s inspiring Dementia care team headed by Jo James. The NHS is a vital resource, and it’s important that we, as artist think about how we can assist the NHS to cope with growing demand in precarious times. It is wonderful to work with students on these projects to deliver bespoke, original and creative applied theatre practice fused with technological innovations. I am grateful for the learning experiences this partnership has been for all of us and for the opportunities, Jo and her team have gifted to us. I am looking forward to next collaborative projects we will inevitably undertake with the NHS.”

Winners of the HSJ Awards will be announced on 6 November 2019 at a ceremony held at Battersea Evolution in London. 

Winners of the National Dementia Care Awards will be announced on 7 November 2019 at a ceremony held at Doncaster Racecourse.

Central Students and Alumni who worked alongside Dr Abraham, Dr Lotty Lance, Jo James and the team at Imperial include: 

Alexa Clarke (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Alison Green (MA Applied Theatre Student) 

Annabel Chadwick (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Claire Nicholson (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Charlie Tooke (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Charlotte Bell (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Chiara Racovi (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Chloe Phillips-Barlett (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Natasha Marks (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Emily Lafoy (MA Applied Theatre Student) 

Grace Kelly (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Alumna) 

Laura Barritt (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Lauren Norman-Mercer (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Lucy Smart (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Myrto Papoulia (MA Applied Theatre Alumna) 

Phoebe White (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Sian Gurney (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Thea Medland (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Evanne Asiedu (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Teo Dontu (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Cecilia Garcia (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student, Writing for Performance Pathway) 

Kelsey Gordon (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Indre Navickaite (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

Ayesha Saad (BA Drama, Applied Theatre and Education Student) 

The NHS is a vital resource, and it’s important that we, as artist think about how we can assist the NHS to cope with growing demand in precarious times. It is wonderful to work with students on these projects to deliver bespoke, original and creative applied theatre practice fused with technological innovations.

Dr Nicola Abraham