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Home » December 2021

December 2021

Welcome to our newsletter

This is our last newsletter of 2021, we would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support this year, the Ambassadors are now a national network of more than 100, with new groups starting in Buckinghamshire, Donegal and London this year and next.

Ambassadors have supported and welcomed 39 new members in 2021, you have worked with us as a creative collective with great resilience as we’ve journeyed through the uncertainties of Covid together, from the socially distanced rehearsals for the opera we staged in July; new technology as we tested live streaming; rehearsals outside and in some rather unusual venues and of course your ongoing advocacy work – with the press, speaking at international conferences and presenting at stroke and brain injury groups.

Together this year we have embarked on major research projects whilst continuing to tell the stories that are most important to us all, through film, performance, poetry, music and even a full scale opera! We are looking forward to working together in 2022 and continuing to reach and inspire people across the UK and beyond.

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

‘Weather the Storm’ Opera Recording

It’s finally here – you can watch the entirety of our opera ‘Weather the Storm’ below!

This opera, which was originally performed in July 2021, was a collaboration between Rosetta Life and Garsington Opera Community Company, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Royal Berkshire NHS Trust. It was composed by Orlando Gough, with stage direction by Karen Gillingham. The libretto was written by Lucinda Jarrett and Chris Rawlence, and devised from workshops held on neuro rehabilitation wards and with stroke communities in London, Bristol, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. It also featured a cast of our Reading Ambassadors.

SHAPER – Waterloo

A huge congratulations to our new London SHAPER group, who recorded their final performance on Tuesday 14th December. They have been meeting weekly since September. They were inspired by American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, and used themes of spontaneity and ‘no rules’ to tell their own stories through movement and music.

The sessions were led by artists Louise Klarnett and Melanie Pappenheim, with music written by Jules Maxwell and featuring percussionist Stephen Hiscock.

The recording will be available to watch in the new year – and watch this space for details on the live performance on 7th February!

What is SHAPER?

The Stroke Odysseys programme, is one of three 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 encompasses arts interventions Melodies for Mums and Dance for Parkinson’s. More information about the study can be found here.

NHS Staff choir at Wycombe Hospital

Staff from the neurological rehab team at Wycombe have been working with Rosetta Life artist Melanie Pappenheim this winter – they have rehearsed outside and in masks, meeting weekly to sing together and prepare a Christmas Carol concert at the hospital!

Singing in the hospital courtyard at Buckinghamshire NHS Wycombe Hospital on 22nd December 2021

Masterclass – book now for the 18th January

We are delighted to welcome music artist Emma-Louise for a workshop online, 2pm on 18th January.

Emma- Louise is an experienced singer, songwriter, musician, music teacher and workshop facilitator from North London and is looking forward to joining us for an online masterclass on 18th January – contact us to book your place!

Buckinghamshire Sessions
We are running taster sessions throughout Buckinghamshire. If you know of anyone in High Wycombe or the surrounding areas who may be interested in joining these sessions, please pop 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.

We are really looking forward to launching our new performance company in 2022!

Your space to share art work and poetry.

Send your work to Jennie for the next newsletter at


Love is patient and kind. 

Love is eternal.

Be kind to others while you still have breath.

Be kind to the people you meet on your way up the ladder because you will meet them on your way down.

I expect to pass through this world but once. 

Any good or kindness that I can show to others, let me show it now. For I can never pass this way again.

Be happy to hope to the hopeless.

Never give up in doing good. 

Never relent in showing kindness.

The reward is eternal.

God is Love.

Remmyglad, London

Martyn – Odysseys Poetry Anthology

Martyn, a Reading Ambassador has been working hard collecting your poems for an anthology, inspired by your work he has written a new poem this month.

Moving on

I survived

Bruised and battered, slightly out of kilter,


Different but the same

Wiser perhaps

Better in some ways

You can’t see or quantify the improvements

But I know they are there

So I focus on the gains more than the losses

The same but different

Wiser perhaps

Better in many ways

Martyn Cooper, Reading.

Christmas crafts from Fiona

Every year Fiona, a Reading Ambassador, makes the most fantastic christmas decorations, a craft

Masterclass next year Fiona? Do send in your art-work, poetry and news for the next newsletter

Lil Sullivan – double award winning artist and Odysseys Ambassador

Lil has recently exhibited her art work and raised funds from the exhibition, for her Stroke Choir. The exhibition was titled Stations, here are a few pieces from her collection.

Ambassador Focus

Each month, we feature an ambassador in the newsletter to talk about their experiences and what Brain Odysseys means to them.

This month, we have Remmyglad Anaele, from London.


On the 28th of February,2020, I found myself in a different world.

It was my turn to coordinate the morning devotion at St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church Brockley, London. I was singing at a point I fell down. My 3 year old son started crying by calling mummy mummy mummy. I could hear his voice.  His cry drew the attention of the Members, they called Abulance and rushed me to St. Thomas’s Hospital were they tried for hours to resuscitate my Life. From there I transferred to King’s College Hospital. After a week I transferred to Lewisham Hospital. After a week I was discharged from the hospital in March. I started taking treatment at home because of Lockdown. 

The Stroke affected my speech. Right arm, my legs. I started from O point in life. On the course of medication and physiotherapy, and Stroke Association, I came back to Life. My legs, speech and arm restored. My 5 fingers are partially not working for now. Please God, it will definitely work. 🙏. I am still on medication, and physiotherapy.

I resurrected from death. I thank God Almighty for Life.

Life is like a Spiral movement. It goes forwards and backwards with Challenges and Thorns. At the same time with happiness and joy as in Roses. Like Barry White’s Song. “I’ll keep on going. I’m never gonna give you up”.

Determination and Optimism are Keys to Life.’

Welcome to Odysseys Remmy!

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. Together we will create a performance we can tour in Reading and take back onto the hospital wards as an audio or even a virtual reality presentation.

The Bristol Ambassadors have now almost completed their film about vision loss – A Mouse in a Large World. It will be screened to the charity Bristol After Stroke early in the new year and then screened widely at our events and conferences throughout 2022. We look forward to sharing their work with you soon.

As we look back on last year, we would like to mention Hazel Hammond’s hugely successful exhibition of films and animations exploring aphasia, we hope to support Hazel in sharing her exhibition in London, reading and Buckinghamshire next year so that we all have the opportunity to see if first-hand. Congratulations once again Hazel.

SHAPER Performance

Dulwich Picture Gallery

7th February 2022


2pm 18th January

Singer-Songwriter Emma Louise Bucknor will be joining us for an online session, to book your place please email us

A recap on 2021 from Rosetta Life…

Arts charity Rosetta Life was established in 1997 to ensure that every person living with life altering illness or facing loss has the opportunity to lead a full creative life.
Rosetta Life develops innovative arts practices and delivers professional performances that challenge the stigma of life with Life altering illness or loss.  
Rosetta Life engages participants in transformative creative processes that enable them to alter their own perception of a life altering illness. 
Rosetta Life develops confidence and creative skills so that individuals are able to create performances that change the perceptions of audiences about the experience of lives with serious illness.

Here is a short video to look back on what the charity has been up to in 2021…

We are always looking for volunteers and sponsors to support us in continuing our work