University of Worcester Hosts Series of Talks at World-Renowned Hay Literary Festival

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A series of events, exploring dementia, the future of the NHS, the teaching profession and the role of the judiciary in a democracy, are set to capture audiences at the hugely popular Hay Festival.

The University of Worcester is delivering a series of four panel talks at what is widely regarded as one of the world’s top literary festivals.

The Hay Festival, which is celebrating its 30th year, takes place over 10 days in May and June attracts over 250,000 visitors to the small town of Hay-on-Wye.

The University of Worcester series of talks begins on Monday, May 29 at 7pm with an event on ‘using the creative arts to help people with dementia to live well'. In this talk Dr Claire Garabedian, a trained music practitioner as well as a researcher within the Association of Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester, and Laurence Gardiner, an expert with first-hand experience of living with dementia, will explore ways in which simple use of creative arts approaches can help people and their families to live well with dementia.

The following day, Tuesday, May 30 at 11.30am, there will be a fascinating debate on the role of the judiciary in a democracy. Featuring former West Mercia Police Chief Constable, David Shaw, retired Hereford judge HH Toby Hooper QC, and legal experts from the University of Worcester’s School of Law, the event will consider the constitutional role of the courts in maintaining a proper balance of power in a modern democracy, following the recent judicial decision on the procedure by which the UK can trigger Brexit.

On Wednesday, May 31, at 5.30pm, there will be a panel discussion around the value of the teaching profession. Heavy workloads, constantly changing government policies, and ‘media bashing’ are just some of the reasons cited in a 2015 survey of new teachers, which showed that 73% have considered leaving the profession. A 2014 OECD survey also found that two thirds of teachers in the UK felt undervalued. This talk will explore how we turn the tide to make sure our teachers feel valued and supported to enable them to educate our children for the future.

The panel will feature Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, Jonathan Godfrey, Principal of Hereford Sixth Form College, Sue Gaston, Headteacher of Fairfield High School in Peterchurch, and Taylor Cornes, a University of Worcester Teaching student, and will be Chaired by Ed Dorrell, Head of Content at Times Educational Supplement.

The series concludes on Sunday, June 4 at 5.30pm with a debate on the future of the NHS and a vision for our healthcare system. It will explore whether, in a time of turmoil for the NHS, there is another way to deliver healthcare in the UK, innovating with new professions, like Physician Associates and Nurse Associates. The panel will be made up of Baroness Hollins, former president of the BMA, Professor Veronica Wilkie, GP and Professor of Primary Care, Charlotte Scott Taylor, a Physician Associate Graduate, and Dr Steven Thrush, a Consultant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. It will be Chaired by Jane Perry, Associate Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Health and Society.

For tickets to any of the events please visit the Hay Festival website at