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Helium Seeding Project developed from REFLECT Lab: winners announced

In autumn 2012, Helium offered a bursary to artists and healthcare professionals who took part in the REFLECT Lab project in the Northwest in 2011. The bursary has been awarded to Margot Jones, Theatre Practitioner, and Winifred McNulty, Senior Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), who will collaborate on a series of drama and speech and language therapy workshops for children with expressive/receptive speech and language delay.

The REFLECT Lab project in the Northwest was a professional development opportunity for artists and healthcare workers. During the pilot phase in 2011, participants from both sectors came together to engage in a co-mentoring relationship with the aim of strengthening relationships between the arts and health sectors and improving services for children engaging with the health service.

The bursary will allow the partners to develop a short-term pilot project which will contribute to the development of arts and health practice for children within healthcare services in County Donegal.

Margot Jones has a background in theatre research, performance and puppetry and works in community, cultural, educational and therapeutic settings. Her work includes interactive performance with adults and young people for whom she also designs tailor-made workshops and programmes. She works through English and Irish. Margot is delighted to receive this award from Helium. She looks forward to developing her work with young children and to continuing a creative partnership with Winifred.

Winifred McNulty has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist since 1984 in Ballyfermot, Naas and Donegal. She delights in seeing children grow in confidence and communication and she has always been interested in empowering parents’ expertise in developing their child’s communication skills. Drama was one of Winifred’s ‘Paths not taken’ but luckily life presents us with many opportunities to stand and reflect at diverging roads. Attending the Helium REFLECT project in the North West was one of these powerful moments and she looks forward to working with Margot Jones on their joint project. Winifred is co-author with Heike Thiele of High Shelves and Long Counters, Stories of Irish Shops, published in July 2012 by History Press Ireland.

The Seeding Project is supported by the Arts Council.

REFLECT Lab is an acclaimed model of cross-sector co-mentoring devised by The Sage Gateshead, UK. The 2011 REFLECT Lab cohort was led by Helium under the Arts Council of Ireland Local Partnership Scheme with Sligo County Council Arts Service, Donegal County Council Arts Office, HSE West (Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal), Letterkenny General Hospital, and Sligo General Hospital.

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