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February 2022

Welcome to our newsletter

Making a Mark at Dulwich Picture Gallery

The London SHAPER group performed at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, on 7th February.

The group, inspired by American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, used themes of spontaneity and ‘no rules’ to tell their own stories through movement and music.

Thank you to everyone who came along to support the performance – it was wonderful to share the work with a live audience, after filming the performance back in December when we were still social distancing.

The group worked with artists Louise Klarnett and Melanie Pappenheim, composer Jules Maxwell and percussionist Stephen Hiscock.

What is SHAPER?

The Stroke Odysseys programme, is one of three arts-in-health interventions, all of which have been proven to improve patient health, that will be trialled among larger groups of people within NHS hospitals as part of SHAPER, the world’s largest study into the impact of arts on mental health. SHAPER –
Scaling-up Health-Arts Programmes: Implementation and Effectiveness Research – has been launched by King’s College London and UCL. The study also includes arts-in-health interventions Melodies for Mums and Dance for Parkinson’s. More information about the study can be found here.

Movement Masterclass

Lucinda Jarrett will be leading an online movement masterclass on Thursday 17th February, at 2pm.

If you would like to attend, please book ahead by emailing us at

Brainwaves Donegal

Ambassadors from London have been supporting a new group in Donegal by attending online workshops. Stroke charity Different Strokes for Different Folks and arts organisations Zona Dance, Wall2wall Music and Derry Playhouse have been collaborating to form a new Brain Odysseys group in Donegal.

Weekly sessions have been held on Zoom and in person, the group will be performing their piece on 10th March.

Final call for poets and artists! – The Odysseys Anthology

Reading ambassador Martyn has been busy working on a poetry anthology, collecting poems from ambassadors across the UK. If you have a poems or piece of artwork that you would like to add to the anthology, please send them over to Kirsten at by Wednesday (16th February).

Returning to the Hospital Wards

Brain Odysseys continues this month with weekly sessions at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Wycombe Hospital.

In January, we introduced Brain Odysseys to the Oxfordshire Stroke Rehabilitation Unit. Patients at Abingdon Community Hospital worked with artists in a week-long residency.

Read all about the project here:

Abingdon Community Hospital

Songwriting Masterclass

The ambassadors recently had a masterclass with singer-songwriter Emma-Louise.

In this zoom session on 18th January, the group composed their own verses to Emma-Louise’s song Elevation – you can see what they came up with below.

When that stroke strikes you down

And the past is so lost

But with family friends and faith

You can look ahead in hope

To your elevation

Max, Northampton Ambassador

Trying to rise one more time

Trying to live once again

The hand can’t hold

But holds on with no grip

Holding on with my soul intact

Though pain in my heart

Pain with no gain to be afraid

Trying to live once again

Trying to rise one more time

Leslie, London Ambassador

How can I forget my memories while they are in my heart nostalgia?

How can I forget my memories while they are in my ears ringing?

How can I forget my memories and they are the dreams of my life

Jawad, London Ambassador

Buckinghamshire Sessions – 9th March, 2pm (Online)

We are running taster sessions throughout Buckinghamshire. If you know of anyone who may be interested in joining these sessions, please drop us an email at – these will be online workshops to begin with and are open to people living with MS, Parkinsons and any life altering neurological condition.

Look out for the launch of our new Thames Valley performance company in 2022.

Your space to share art work and poetry.

Send your work to Jennie for the next newsletter at

Papier-mâché Eggs
Fiona, Reading

Reading ambassador Fiona experiments with shapes and shadows

Cows in Field
Fiona, Reading

A.B.I. Dolphins

Prior to my brain injury
I had days when I was mighty
like a lone sailor skimming across the oceans
with dolphins leaping at my bow

My injury grounded me on a rocky unfamiliar shore
and I’ve lost my sense of porpoise

Martyn, Reading

Chris, Reading Ambassador.

“I make the models to force my right hand’s fine motor skills. Knots and rigging are a mind game! Kon Tiki has thousands of knots as it used Stone Age technology. The Mississippi paddle steamer can be lit up. The Chinese junk is my latest and I liked the weird sails.”

Lil, London Ambassador

Waterloo `Group – Next Meeting

We will be holding the next meeting for our SHAPER group on Monday 7th and 14th March from 11am-3pm at St Andrews Church, Short Street, SE1 8LJ. At this session, we will share the film of the performance, and talk about the next steps. An email will be sent out.

Save the Date – 6th May – All groups welcome

On 6th May, we will be hosting an ambassador meet-up – this will be a chance to meet your fellow ambassadors, share your work and stories, and ‘walk the spiral’. This be taking place at Queen’s Square in Camden

More info to follow in the next newsletter!

The Reading Ambassadors are working with Reading University Drama and Film Students on a devising project that explores our relationship with the landscape and our environment in times of illness and loss.

This part of a wider project called Healing Landscapes, we are inviting community organisations across Reading to get in contact with us to take part in poetry and movement sessions – it’s open to anyone who is living with life-altering illness. If you know someone in Reading who would like to try a session, invite them to contact us

Together we will create a performance for Reading and take it back onto the hospital wards as an audio or even a virtual reality presentation this summer.

The Bristol Ambassadors have now completed their film about vision loss – A Little Mouse in a Large World. It will be screened to the charity Bristol After Stroke early this year and then screened widely at our events and conferences throughout 2022. You can watch the film below!

Movement Masterclass with Lucinda Jarrett (Online)

Thursday 17th February


Buckinghamshire Taster Session (Online)

9th March


Brain Odysseys Donegal

Derry Playhouse

10th March

Ambassador Meet-up

Institute of Neurology, Queen’s Square, Camden

6th May

A chance to share the work of the ambassadors, and to ‘walk the spiral’
(watch this space for more info!)

Films from the Rosetta Life archive

Every month we will share a film. You can visit the essential viewing section of the Rosetta Life website for further viewing. We always enjoy hearing your feedback.

This month we share Mental Maps, Stroke and Knowledge.

A Cabbie and a Bus Driver, both in recovery from Stroke, revisit the mental maps that once guided them through London’s streets.