Roger Swift

lifesavers logoOver the past year or so, AIS has been helping the dance therapy group for stroke survivors founded by Susie Tate at the University of Cumbria with some financial support. We were delighted to hear that this fantastic project was formally recognised for its contribution to keeping the nation healthy.

Susie Tate and the ‘About Being’ team made up of lecturers and students studying dance, occupational therapy and physiotherapy were named as one of the nation’s lifesavers – the top 100 individuals or groups based in universities whose work is saving lives and making life-changing differences to the nation’s health and well being.

They were named as part of Universities UK’s ‘MadeAtUni’ campaign, which brings to life the impact of universities on everyday lives.

The ‘About Being’ project offers stroke survivors in Carlisle weekly dance and movement sessions to support and maintain their ongoing recovery and rehabilitation.  So many less high profile social and charitable initiatives struggle to get funding and when the opportunity to support Susie and her team came along, we were very keen to get involved. Learn more on About Being and what its aims are.

The nation’s lifesavers are fighting diseases, helping new parents and children enjoy the best start in life, supporting older people and improving our mental health and well being. Universities from across the country were invited to nominate an individual or group who has made a significant contribution to the nation’s health and well being. Over 100 universities from Plymouth to Dundee submitted a nomination.

Susie Tate, Honorary Associate Lecturer, at the University of Cumbria said, “We are honoured to feature as one of the nation’s lifesavers for our work supporting stroke survivors to live a more active, social and creative life. It’s equally an invaluable opportunity for our students, who not only get practical experience relevant to their future careers but they have also made connections with people they may not normally meet, enriching their lives to the mutual benefit of all involved.”

Dr. Paul Davies, Consultant Stroke Physician North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said, “There are only a few centres in the UK that have access to dance and music therapy as part of stroke rehabilitation programmes and we are fortunate that we can offer this in Carlisle. Recovery after stroke requires the development of new neural pathways.  These pathways develop and become stronger with repetitive movement.  I believe this is how dance therapy can help stroke patients recover.”

Alison Smith, Executive Chief Nurse at the trust said, “This is a fantastic project and we are thrilled to be participating and helping our patients with their recovery and rehabilitation.  We know that muscle strength can reduce by 2-5 percent in the first 24 hours and up to 10 percent in the first seven days of hospital admission so keeping patients moving, mobile and active has a real positive benefit to health and their overall recovery.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President Universities UK, said, “This campaign is a chance to bring to life the wonderful and often unexpected work going on every day in our universities and to celebrate some of the people working to make a life-changing difference to the nation.”

More information on the campaign can be found on the dedicated website