Our Inspire Fund supports projects that engage the public with dementia and the life-changing research going on into the condition. These projects are often collaborative, with researchers, communities, creatives, and people with dementia coming together to develop innovative projects.

In 2022 we funded 10 projects through the Inspire Fund totalling £157,049.50.

The projects had to:

  • Engage people from underserved audiences, such as minority ethnic communities, marginalised or socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, with the topic of dementia.
  • Build knowledge and engage the public with the topic of brain health.
  • Engage and create dialogue with people about the progress being made in biomedical dementia research.
  • Highlight the value of research volunteers and reduce barriers to research participation.
make breakthroughs possible inspire fund logo

Speak Out with Dementia

Led by the Brighton and Hove LGBTQ Switchboard’s Speak Out with Dementia (SOWD) Group, this project aims to put LGBTQ people living with dementia at the forefront, by:

  • Creating a series of six bimonthly podcasts and Q&A’s featuring SOWD group members. Each episode will lend its focus to a different aspect of brain health, whilst integrating themes of LGBTQ+ life experiences, identity, and culture.
  • Building dedicated LGBTQ content on the award-winning My House of Memories mobile app where LGBTQ people living with dementia can talk about their life stories and unique experiences of dementia alongside the importance of brain health, and the value of participation in future research projects.
  • Hosting a Speak Out with Dementia Brain Health exhibition and interactive workshop with SOWD members at the Ledward Centre in Brighton.

Maintain your super brain: Co-design and evaluation of a serious digital game for primary school children to promote brain health

Working in collaboration Queens University, Belfast, Focus Games and Dementia NI will develop a serious digital game (SDG) for children aged 8-11 years. The game will be designed during a series of workshops with children from socially deprived areas of Northern Ireland and people living with dementia.

The game will introduce the topic of brain health to children who will likely take a character on a quest to explore how the brain works and what we can do to protect and maintain a ‘super’ brain.

Maintain Your Super Brain ARUK Funded Project
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Healthy brain, healthy heart

This project led by Dr Georgina Menzies (Cardiff University) Dr Claire Price (Cardiff University) and Dr Emma Yhell (Swansea University) will visit schools in two of the most socially deprived areas of South Wales hosting sessions that will focus on learning through 3 interactive games:

Healthy Heart

A physically active game which requires the children to consider which physical activities raise their heart rate. Along with discussion on how a healthy heart links to a healthy brain.

Stay Sharp

A puzzle-based game which uses general knowledge questions to improve understanding of the brain and brain health.

Diversity Wins

A bingo card-based game, which will be used to explain the importance of diversity in research. The children will be encouraged to talk to find out about each other and the unique attributes everyone brings to what they do.

Illuminating dementia research using interactive immersive projections

Artist William Lindley will create a powerful, immersive experience in Brighton which lifts the lid on dementia research, highlighting the importance of brain and heart health to prevent dementia. Based on the work of neuroscientist Dr Catherine Hall, the immersive experience will be produced at drop-in workshops, and pop-up presentations, engaging a wide demographic of society and underserved communities who would not usually attend ARUK events. Once completed, the project will be presented at various locations in Brighton as well as being made available to view online.

William Lindley

Your Brain Explained

Theatre for Life’s project is for children and young people living in poverty who have little support with their healthcare, mental health, and lifestyle choices. During free workshops, young people will use drama and science activities to understand how their brain works and how lifestyle choices could impact their future health. They will also meet people living with dementia and their carers to understand how people can live well with dementia.

Using these findings, 5 young actors aged between 18-25 will create a piece of theatre that will tour 6 schools in socially deprived areas of Southampton and Portsmouth.

Your Brain explained
Jayne Evans

The Creative Links Project

The Forum Trust is working in collaboration with scientists and outreach teams at the University of East Anglia (UEA), home of the Dementia Research Collaborative and the Institute of Healthy Ageing, and with grass-roots agencies and charities who work in Norwich and Norfolk’s minority and disadvantaged communities. They will bring a series of workshops into underserved community settings, to encourage conversation, develop understanding of key brain health messages and change attitudes and behaviour, using enjoyable and collaborative creative activities. The artwork will form an eclectic art exhibition for Norfolk Makers Festival 2024.

Intergenerational Neurological Education and Prevention Trial (INEPT): An Inclusive Brain Health Venture

INEPT: An Inclusive Brain Health Venture is a theatre performance that will simulate a brain health research study. Central to the immersive and participatory experience is a dialogue about brain health and dementia risk reduction, and how to best provide information about the latest dementia research to the public.

INEPT uses satirical and comedic approaches to facilitate the delivery of complex and emotionally charged information about brain health, making it accessible and entertaining to a wide audience. Travelling to Nottingham, South London and Leeds, the roadshow will be supported by a social media campaign and online resources.

make breakthroughs possible inspire fund logo
make breakthroughs possible inspire fund logo

Love your heart, stay sharp, keep connected

This project is a collaborative initiative seeking to engage ethnic minorities of African and Afro-Caribbean decent/origin living in Manchester over 4 weeks. The event will focus on a community feast, bringing people together to talk about and exchanged healthy living ideas both traditional and new and explore traditional cooking methods with a view to promoting or challenging health/unhealthy food preparation habits to promote brain and heart health.

Music, open mic sharing poems/songs and spoken word will complement the day, encouraging focus on the theme Love your heart, stay sharp, keep connected.

My Brain and I: A Graphic Novel

According to an ARUK report, women are less likely than men to think they can influence their dementia risk, while those identifying as Black African/Black British are less likely than those identifying as white to agree that dementia is a cause of death. Aimed at engaging Black African women, My Brain and I will be co-written by award winning Science Communication Comic Artist Alanah Knibb and will follow Parkinson’s Africa founder Omotola Thomas on her journey with brain health and Parkinson’s disease. Omotola will reveal insights into dementia and the link between dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson’s disease. Accompanied by a series of workshops, the comic aims to shift negative attitudes around research trials and empower audiences to reduce their dementia risk.

Alanah Knibb