The Hennell Award 2022

Everyone at the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) is driven by the priority to do all we can to enable people with dementia and their close family and friends to enjoy lives of quality. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Hennell Award.   

The Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care (to give it its full title!) was launched in memory of the late Brian Hennell at the ADS 5th birthday celebration event on 14 May 2014. Brian’s wife June has acted as an ambassador for this award which recognises people who have made a significant contribution to promoting person-centred care.

Anyone who has studied on one of our many courses can enter the award. This year we were able to shortlist three amazing and innovative applications – all very different, but each one focused on enhancing the lives of individuals whom the entrants supported. You can read about the entries on our webpages.

Stu Wright, who won this year’s Hennell Award, impressed the judging panel with his “real-life plans and actions for improvement within care homes”, and his focus upon human rights and the needs and aspirations of people living with advanced dementia. We’re very pleased that Stu will be joining us at the upcoming UK Dementia Congress to talk about his work as part of a symposium about our education, so if you’re at Congress please do come along to hear more and congratulate Stu on his achievement.

It is such a great pleasure to be involved with the Hennell Award, knowing that the education we provide can help make a considerable difference to people’s lives. It is fantastic to be able to recognise our students for the contribution they make.   

Details will be posted in December about arrangements for the Hennell Award 2022/23. We are looking forward to receiving more great applications and recognising the impressive things going on to promote person-centred care and support across the world!    

Research update

We regularly have to provide updates to the wider university to say what’s going on with our research within the Association for Dementia Studies, and it’s actually quite a nice exercise to do as it helps us realise just how much we’re doing on a daily basis. It’s a chance to pause and reflect, and as that feels quite appropriate at the moment we thought we’d share our latest research update with you. So, just what have we been up to between May and August?

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Congratulations Team Sunflower

This week we hand over to Dr Becky Oatley for an update on her recent walking challenge as part of Team Sunflower…

A little over one month ago, Team Sunflower took on an Ultra Challenge walking 100km along the Jurassic Coast.

Team Sunflower comprised me, a research associate here at the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS), Jane, who has lived experience of dementia and contributes to both ADS research and teaching, and Jemma, one of the first cohort of students on our Postgraduate Certificate course.

The challenge started as a dream of Jane’s and finished as 100km of sunshine, rain, thunder, steep cliffs, daunting climbs, sharp descents, teamwork, laughter, and memories.

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Now and next

Every few months we take stock of what’s been going on and have a look at what we’ve got coming up, and now feels like a good time to just that!


We’re in that weird period of some conferences being online, some returning to in-person events, and some using a hybrid approach. In May we went to the Alzheimer’s Society Conference in London, and one of our PhD Students Nathan Stephens wrote up his thoughts for a Dementia Researcher blog. We also presented at an internal University of Worcester Research Seminar, looking at ‘The challenges of reaching the right people’. This is something we’ve considered in a previous blog post, but this time we focused on our experiences with two current projects: Worcester Life Stories and Get Real with Meeting Centres. Part of the presentation looked at the challenges faced in our Get Real Work Package looking at why people don’t attend Meeting Centres.

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Introducing CAMBUS

This week we’d like to let you know about an exciting new initiative that has started in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The Coffee and Memory Bus (CAMBUS) scheme currently comprises two minibuses/vans, which will travel around Herefordshire and Worcestershire reaching out to people in their community and providing a safe and friendly space for people to enjoy a tea or coffee, have a chat, find out useful information, and even start creating their own life story on the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Life Stories platform.

It can sometimes be difficult for people to access support services or find out about what is available to them, so this initiative aims to take that support and information to people where they are. Maybe they have concerns about their memory or a relative’s memory and aren’t sure what the next step is. Maybe they just want to be a bit more social by having a drink and a chat with others. CAMBUS provides those opportunities.

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ADS is still going strong

At the end of March we said a fond farewell to Professor Dawn Brooker MBE as she retired, although it was more of an ‘au revoir’ as she’s still going to be working with us as an Emeritus Professor from the Autumn. In this blog we take a brief look back at Dawn’s time with the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) and bring you up-to-date with our plans for the next phase.

A photo of everyone who attended Dawn's leaving do
Dawn’s leaving do!
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Dog Walking Challenge for Dementia UK

This week we hand over to Senior Research Fellow Teresa Atkinson to hear about the fundraising challenge she’s taking on in March.

Physical activity has never been high on my ‘to-do’ list, but the idea of a dog walking challenge really caught my interest. Dog walking is something close to my heart, as is the cause I am raising money for – Dementia UK. 

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The Hennell Award winner 2021

A few weeks ago at the University of Worcester graduation the latest winner of the Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care was announced. A huge congratulations go to Sue Ashcroft, who is the Approaches to Care Lead for Dementia and Lifestyle Services at Care UK.

Sue with Suzanne Mumford (Head of Nursing, Care and Dementia at Care UK), who nominated her for the award
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What’s coming up?

Although we haven’t exactly been quiet recently, the Summer months tend to give us a bit of space to take stock and reset – maybe even go on holiday! The next few months are already starting to fill up though, so we thought we’d give a brief overview of what’s on the cards for us.


Two of our Postgraduate Certificate online modules will be starting with their next iteration, so we’ll be welcoming new cohorts of students to:

Students on our Postgraduate Award ‘Expert Practice in Delivering Person-Centred Dementia Care’ will also be returning for the second semester of their module.

After a Summer break, our Meeting Centre webinars will be back up and running, and in September it will be ‘New kids on the block’ as we hear from a selection of new Meeting Centres. You can register here.

The latest round of funding applications for the Worcestershire Meeting Centres Community Support Programme will close at the end of September.

We’re hoping to present at a few conferences as well, but whether that’s online or in person remains to be seen:

  • ‘Bringing Arts and Creativity in Dementia Education: The role of leisure’ at the Higher Education Dementia Network
  • ‘Environmental design for people living with dementia’ and the SCI-Dem [link] project at the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo
  • ‘The future of dementia care, post Covid’ at the Admiral Nurse Forum
  • Meeting Centres at the Jersey Alzheimer’s Society Conference
  • Namaste at the Namaste Care International Annual Conference


Our October Meeting Centre webinar focuses on ‘Scaling up Meeting Centres in a locality’ looking at the Worcestershire Meeting Centres Community Support Programme. Register to attend here.

We’ll also be presenting on ‘Reflecting upon how the experiences of people living with Dementia, engaging in leisure within social spaces, influence and inform citizenship’ as part of the British Sociological Association conference focusing on Leisure for All: Formulating Right to Leisure as a Radical Demand for Democratic Citizenship.


The next 5-week Meeting Centres online training course starts this month, and you can find more details and how to book on our website.

In November the final Meeting Centre webinar will be on ‘Sustainability of Meeting Centres: opportunities, challenges and the way forward’. You can register here.

We’ve also had a couple of abstracts relating to our work on Meeting Centres accepted as part of Alzheimer Europe which this year is focusing on Resilience in dementia: Moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

And after that?

A whole raft of our Postgraduate Certificate online modules will be getting underway with new students in January 2022, so keep an eye out for reminders on how to apply.

There are also a few other things in the pipeline that we’ll let you know about in due course. We’re obviously still working on a number of projects, journal articles and other education courses, so I think we’d better make the most of our ‘quieter’ August while we can!

Current* plans for 2021 (*all plans are subject to change!!)

So here we are in 2021 and back in lockdown. Instead of dwelling on things, we’re going to try and be a bit positive and look at some of our plans for the coming months – although as the blog title suggests, who knows whether our plans will end up matching reality! When we tried a similar post back in February last year hardly anything we wrote about actually happened, but hey, let’s see how we go. This isn’t a full list, just a few examples of what’s going to be keeping us busy over the next few months.

First off, we’re hoping that at some point Professor Dawn Brooker might be able to receive her MBE in person. Posh frocks at the ready! (Ok, we know that we won’t be going with her, but any excuse to get dressed up, right?)

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