Inspiring Change: Collaboration
  • The Award for Impact through Partnership
  • Whitefield School, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust & Royal Central school of Speech and Drama
  • London

In this partnership, Year 9 drama students were trained in basics of dementia, understanding dialysis and best practice communication strategies, through drama, to support patients living with dementia and undergoing dialysis treatment. The students worked with six patients who undergo dialysis three times a week and have various cognitive impairments.

The students were supported to devise creative responses shaped with patients by their teacher, Mr Clarke, who was assisted by RCSSD applied theatre undergraduate students on Zoom, whilst Rachel Hudspith (Activity Co-Ordinator for the Dementia Care Team in Imperial) and Dr. Nicola Abraham (Senior Lecturer – Applied Theatre Practises) worked the other side of the screen with the patients on the ward.

The intention of the project was threefold. Firstly, to create intergenerational connections between older adult patients who missed their families after shielding for two years, and young people who missed their families for similar reasons.

Secondly, to improve the wellbeing of both communities in the hospital and the school by using drama to share and celebrate one another’s stories, to value identities lost in the fear of the pandemic and inspire one another with creative interactions.

Thirdly, to help secondary and undergraduate students think about careers in social prescription through offering expert advice, taster training from a Consultant Nurse and applied theatre strategies from an applied theatre practitioner.