Programme Information listed chronologically by venues


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Programme Information listed chronologically by venues:

Waterfront Museum – Dynevor Centre – Glynn Vivian Gallery – Reading Room @ ALEX – Volcano Theatre

All Abstracts can be found on line at


Friday 9am Keynote Speakers

Chair: Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies is Chair of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, which covers the area of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.

One of the ‘architects’ of devolution, Andrew headed up Welsh Labour’s Welsh Assembly referendum campaign in 1997 before being elected as Assembly Member for Swansea West in 1999. He was a Welsh Government Minister from 1999 – 2009, including being Minister for Economic Development & Transport and Finance Minister.
Andrew was chair of National Dance Company Wales from 2010 - 2017

Vaughan Gething

Minster for Health in Welsh Government

Video Welcome

Eluned Morgan

Baroness Eluned Morgan is the Welsh Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales and speaks on behalf of the Labour Party in the House of Lords.  Her political career started at the age of 27 when she was elected as the youngest Member of the European Parliament in 1994. She was only the fifth woman elected to a full time political position in the history of Wales.

Until July 2013 Eluned was the Chair of Live Music Now in Wales and is Trustee of Live Music Now UK. She initiated and currently chairs the Welsh Assembly cross party group for Arts and Health.

Phil George

Phil George was appointed chair of Arts Council Wales in 2016
From 2001 – March 2016, Phil was founder and Creative Director of the television production company Green Bay Media which specialises in high-end documentary projects for broadcasters in Wales, the UK networks and internationally. The company won numerous awards at BAFTA and the Celtic Film and Television Festival.
In 2007, Phil was appointed Founding Chair of National Theatre Wales which has made extraordinary work in locations and communities all across Wales and internationally. NTW’s groundbreaking productions include The Passion, a 72-hour event in Port Talbot starring Michael Sheen.

Friday 7.30pm Keynote Performance


The Devil’s Violin

The Devil’s Violin have been blending traditional story and music into powerful performances for 10 years. Tonight they perform their new piece, STOLEN, created during Daniel Morden's cancer treatment.

See more at

Saturday 9am

Keynote Speakers

Chair: Barry Atkinson

Live Music Now

Short video: Songs from Above and Below – a song cycle composed with care home residents.

Dan Yashinsky

Talking to Butterflies:  bringing "storycare" to healthcare

My work as the storyteller-in-residence at Baycrest Health Sciences has been a three year experiment in bringing the language and experience of storytelling into a range of clinical settings.  This talk explores how "storycare" can be woven into psychiatry, palliative care, rehab, and individual encounters with patients, long term care residents, family members, and staff.

See more at


Friday 11am

Stories in Clinical Training

Chair: Mark Cocks & Jemma Hughes

Dr Mark Cocks is Assistant Dean of Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) with research interests into academic pedagogy and photographic practice.

Jemma Hughes manages research and development within ABMU Health Board, she has a keen interest in Arts in Health and its impact on wellbeing, particularly through the role of community music groups, currently acting as Music Secretary and Soprano Representative of Swansea Philharmonic Choir and as an active member of Uplands Arts.

Jo Odell

‘The use of stories, collaboration and creativity in the evaluation of the Patients First Programme’

At the end of the 18 month programme, the nurse led teams work in collaboration to use their experiences/stories to develop the evaluation and to present this to each other creatively through which ever medium they choose. The teams have chosen a mixture of poems, art/posters, songs and drama/comedy presentations in the past.

Amanda Page

In March 2017, I hosted a nurse storytelling night at Wild Goose Creative, an arts organization in Columbus, Ohio. The presentation will include a review of the evening, as well as testimonials from the nurses who told the stories, and the nurses in the audience. The theoretical foundation for why such a night is important in both nursing culture and local arts culture will be explained. Also, tips on how to organize a nurse storytelling night will be shared. Topics covered will include how to avoid data protection violations, how to select a venue, and how to find and prepare willing storytellers. 

Suzanne & Mark Marnocha

Our learners, soon to become nurses or family physicians, tell stories of difficult care, relive unfinished farewells, write the stream of today’s thoughts, sketch with crayon the fears and costs of such education, look outward with mindful alertness, and turn in more deeply to confer with the elders and the deceased, thereby finding, again and again, that center which  may indeed hold, and even heal.

Rachel Leyland

I will explain how our medical students use stories, explored in small groups, to understand patients’ and their own experiences. They build communication and narrative skills and learn to consider complexity, uncertainty and to place their learning in context. Not only that, they expose a Hidden Curriculum of messages implicitly taught on apprenticeship; they recognize the good, the bad and the ugly and make a choice on what sort of doctors they wish to become.

Clive Weston, John Rees & Cindy Hayward

We will present our activity of reading and responding to medical students' written reflections, asking: Do these pieces contain stories? Whose stories are they and with whom can they be shared? Can this activity deepen the students’ abilities to listen and reflect, and so strengthen their wellbeing and resilience?

Suzy Willson

Suzy Willson, Director of Clod Ensemble and the Performing Medicine programme, describes how arts based approaches in healthcare education can build awareness of the physical, non verbal elements of practise. and

Friday 2.30pm

Stories in Research

Chair: Mark Cocks & Jemma Hughes

Nick Andrews


Older people’s narratives bringing research messages to life – lessons from a Joseph Rowntree Foundation project

Alison Ward

Storytelling was used with a group of people with early stage dementia supporting the sharing of stories across the group which offered moving accounts of present day experiences and reminiscences about the past.

Katherine Hall

We believe that centring medical management of chronic disease firmly and firstly on patient experience and expertise, particularly if the condition is contested, leads to much better outcomes for both patient and doctor.

Clare Clement

This presentation will discuss the development and application of Integrated Patient Storytelling when exploring and conveying complex patient journeys and present the possible benefits for healthcare researchers and practitioners.

Peta Bush

Patients' use of collage to tell their stories as co-designers for health.

Val Bogan

Based on early doctoral research, this multi-media presentation asks whether patients with the same disease, when requested introspectively to visualise their symptoms, produce sufficient signs in common to suggest that a shared visual language of disease exists.

Saturday 11am

Keynote Panel

Storytelling with Older People

Chair: Hamish Fyfe

Hamish Fyfe is Professor of the Arts and Society at the University of South Wales and formerly Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling.

Panel members:

Dan Yashinsky, Keynote Speaker

Elena Schmitz, Head of Programmes at Literature Wales

Nicola Williams, Manager Hengoed Court Care Home

Karin Diamond, Co-Director ReLive Theatre Company

Keynote Exhibition Talk

Jac Saorsa

NOTE: This Exhibition is open throughout conference in the

Dynevor Foyer

Jac Saorsa is the artist and writer behind the Cancer Ward 12 project, Jac will lead an open discussion based on the existential lived experience of cancer and its treatment from the perspective both of patients and those who care for them. The discussion will reflect the themes of the project, which draw on the relationship between literature and real life with regard to terminal illness. After the discussion there will be an opportunity to visit the Cancer Ward 12 art exhibition with the artist.

The Artist will be available in the exhibition space until 2pm

Saturday 2.30pm

Closing Keynotes

Chair: Emily Underwood Lee

Dr Emily Underwood-Lee is Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales. Her research interests include autobiographical performance and the intersection of the arts and health.

Daniel Morden

SYMPATHETIC MAGIC: Storyteller Daniel Morden reflects on how stories helped him through his treatment for cancer.

Mike Wilson

When William Wordsworth wrote of the scientist and the poet walking hand in hand, he probably wasn’t imagining the relationship between storytelling and health that has blossomed over recent years. This paper offers a reflection on that evolving relationship and how storytelling may have to rethink itself in a post-truth world.


Friday 11am

Patient Stories

Chair: Joseph Sobol

Joseph Sobol is a storyteller, musician, folklorist, and author of "The Storytellers' Journey: An American Revival," a history of the American storytelling movement. Since 2000 he has directed the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University.

David Ambrose

David is the founder of Beyond the Border Storytelling Festival. In this presentation, he talks about the experience of having heart surgery, the journey he found himself on, and some of the things he learned along the way.

Tim Hunt

Patient Opinion collects stories from the public about their healthcare experiences. The stories are carefully moderated, published on the website and sent through to the staff who need to listen to and act on their feedback.

Daniel Serridge

The Village Storytelling Centre is developing a strong track record in supporting NHS and social care staff to use storytelling to develop a greater understanding of the individuals that their work supports and of the personal narratives that influence them and their colleagues in the care context.

Duncan West

Rather than providing a catalogue of facts/information sheets, we believe that delivering a strong narrative illustrated with patient stories offering experiential learning about the treatment journey and what to expect, provides the necessary context and relevance to help alleviate many of the fears or concerns that all too often prevent patients from taking their medicines effectively.

Kimberly Littlemore

From Comic Relief to Chronic Pain relief!  How experience in the developing world led to health innovation through story-telling with PocketMedic.

Naomi Sunderland & Nicole Matthews

In this session, we will share some of the lessons learnt in preparing our book Digital Storytelling in Health and Social Care: Listening to marginalised voices and consider what we might learn from a focus on listening to stories when we come to recording the voices of storytellers.

We will be signing books at the bookstall in Volcano Theatre over lunch.

Friday 2.30pm

Stories in Mental Health

Chair: Prue Thimbleby

Prue Thimbleby is Arts in Health Co-ordinator for ABMU Health Board, she is also a practising artist and storyteller.

Cath Heinemeyer & Jamie Towey

Converge is a partnership between York St John University and the NHS that provides quality university-based courses in the arts and other subjects for people who experience mental ill health, and supports them to grow into professional and artistic roles. This paper will show the aesthetics and emphases that arose from a Converge storytelling course, taught jointly by a storyteller/researcher and a performer with lived experience of mental ill health.

Bart de Nil

Together with Erfgoedcel Viersprong (a regional heritage body that supports local heritage organizations in the region south of Ghent (East-Flanders)), mental health institutions and local museums we developed two sustainable interventions with heritage collections.

I shall present the context of the whole project, the setup of the sessions and the lessons learned so far.

Karen Ingham

I will present recent practice in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, FACT Liverpool, MIND, and Swansea Medical School which explores how affective objects can embody and transfer emotional data for young people suffering from mental health problems.

Alette Willis & Lily Asch

Real Talk is a social enterprise that creates safe spaces for authentic conversations around mental ill health by empowering personal narratives. We will discuss our narrative crafting process and its effects on meaning making and wellbeing for participants.

Jess Wilson

I am a mental health nurse and have been storyteller in residence with the ABMU Health Board. I have been using traditional oral storytelling in forensic hospital settings since 2008 and have completed an MSc in professional practice research undertaking a research study that created new knowledge in the field of storytelling in a forensic hospital setting.

Open Mic

Members of storytelling groups in Community Mental Health in Swansea

Saturday 11am

Stories with Children

Chair: Steve Killick

Steve is a clinical psychologist and storyteller. He has worked with The Fostering Network for many years and is Clinical Lead for Barnardo’s Child and Family Bereavement Service, Cardiff and Visiting Fellow for the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, University of South Wales.  He hosts and organises Kemi's Storytelling Suppers in Cardiff.

Vicky Pember &

Amanda Smith

Vicky Pember, Read For Good Hospitals Manager and Amanda Smith, Read For Good Storyteller will present details of this unique service, highlight survey feedback from parents, children and hospital staff and share case studies of individual children in hospital who have benefited from the storytelling.

Fiona Collins

Sharing stories with children in hospital:

What can listening to traditional tales offer to children in hospital, and why is it important to share stories with them in their mother tongue, whether that be Welsh or English?

Pauline Ashfield-Watt

Inherited high blood cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolaemia, ‘FH’ for short) is a common, but under-diagnosed genetic condition that causes premature coronary heart disease if not recognised and treated. 

We have worked with young people with FH to help them design, script, film and produce a training video for paediatricians drawing on their own clinical experiences of FH.

Caroline Leek

The project aims to improve cancer nurse specialist’s support given to cancer patients who have childcare responsibilities, by training them to craft and listen to patient’s stories, and embed the knowledge taken from these stories into the patient’s clinical care.

Bevin Magama

My presentation will show the therapeutic power of storytelling and will weave into showing how storytelling feeds the soul and motivates individuals to want to make themselves better. I will bring to light some methodologies and case studies used in the storytelling projects that I have been involved in such as Beechwood College, a college dedicated to students over the age of 16 with Autistic Spectrum Condition, Asperger's Syndrome as well as moderate, severe and profound learning difficulties.

Nicola Grove

This presentation will report on Fostering Storytelling, a project run by Steve Killick and Nicola Grove in ABMU Health Board to teach foster carers ways of telling traditional and personal stories with the children in their care, many of whom have special educational needs and disabilities.

Saturday 11am

Children’s Workshop

Rosie & Jacob as NOOM

We believe in the power of stories. We’ve plenty of new tales to tell you, and want you to share yours with us too. Noom strives to make live theatre for and with the help of children. Children are at the heart of what we do and we aim to encounter as many different imaginations as possible. Noom see the infinite potential in the everyday. Why can’t a flowerpot be more than a flowerpot? Why can’t we have an indoor rainbow? Using the ordinary to delve in to the extraordinary, Noom strives to give creative assistance and help young minds navigate the world around them.

The children will have an opportunity to perform at the start of the open mic session at 2.30pm if they wish to.

Saturday 2.30pm

Stories at the End of Life

Chair: Prue Thimbleby

Miranda Quinney

Miranda will be sharing the evaluative research into the wellbeing effects of working with biographical life stories at end of life and the techniques she uses working within the palliative care sector.

Cath Mather and Kath Smith

The Pass it On pilot project was a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare’s Palliative Care Unit and Remembering the Past, Resourcing the Future (RPRF), the 20th century community history archive for North Tyneside.

The partnership evolved as a result of Cath Mather’s (Senior Occupational Therapist at the Palliative Care Unit) identification that a great many of the patients she saw had lived varied, unusual and sometimes exhilarating lives. Kath Smith is Manager of RPRF

Jemma Newkirk

Jemma will give an account of “living with and beyond suicide”, a story of the relational legacy of sudden and traumatic end of life.

 Janet Dowling

The story can act as a metaphor, so the bereaved person does not have to directly address their own experiences. But, in drawing on their own experiences to explore their responses to the story, they may understand these experiences better, and be able to change their responses to their situation.  ‘Even the death of Enkidu has relevance to a client who does not know Gilgamesh is, but finds his pain reflected in their own.’

Allison Day

I am an emergency nurse practitioner and aspiring writer. "Hippocrates' Memo" is a collaborative poem created to remind us of the importance of authentic conversation towards the end of life, and how this can help us to avoid unintended harm.'

Lesley Goodburn

Homeward Bound a play, film and educational package about love, relationships, compassion and empathy at end of life.


Friday 11am

Narrative Therapy Workshop

Chair: Eleanor Shaw

Eleanor Shaw is a storyteller, director, producer, facilitator and artistic director of Peoplespeakup. 'I work with communities to create a safe platform to promote and encourage social change'

Pam Blamey & Leanne Dodd

 Using narrative therapy as a framework, this workshop follows the characters in a fairytale to recognise some of the tell-tale signs of domestic violence and trauma and learn empowering ways to re-imagine strengths and identity, with the opportunity to create fictional characters for experimenting with a re-imagining of self.

Friday 2.30pm

True Cut

Making sense of our Mistakes

Performance & Discussion

Chair: Harold Thimbleby

Harold is Professor of Computer Science at Swansea University and a leading expert in Human Computer Interaction and Error in Healthcare. He is a member of the World Health Organisation Global Patient Safety Consultation.

Written by Dr David Alderson
Directed by Eleanor Shaw
Cast - students from the School of Performing Arts, UWTSD & Nicola Grove & Steve Killick

True Cut is a new play that combines fictional scenes with verbatim theatre and poetry in order to explore the effects of mistakes in healthcare, and the ways that we try to make sense of what has happened—through the stories that we tell ourselves, and others. It has been written by consultant surgeon David Alderson.

A fully rehearsed reading of the play will be followed by audience discussion.

Saturday 11am

Creative Writing Workshop

Chair: Eleanor Shaw

Sarah Goodey

Stories from the Healing Words project - using creative writing for positive mental health with Gwent Arts in Health & Literature Wales &

Victoria Field

Telling it slant: A poem offers a particular way of ‘containing’ a narrative - we will read poem-narratives on the page, develop our own response and perform or tell them to each other.

Elspeth Penny & Dr Alice Malpass

Elspeth Penny and Dr Alice Malpass explore the stories which emerge from writing a letter to your breath - the ways in which stories may help us reflect on how we perceive the breath and its absence; what it means to breathe and the invisibility of breathlessness.

Saturday 2.30pm

Swansea Storytelling Club

Chair: Eleanor Shaw

Swansea Storytelling Club

Open Mic

Hosted by Swansea Storytelling Club

If you would like to tell a story email Carl at

Found in Translation

Carl Gough & Anthony Evans

Found in Translation: Creating a storytelling performance for a mixed hearing and deaf audience, Carl Gough teams up with BSL Interpreter Anthony Evans to offer an evocative new dimension in storytelling. This entertaining and enlightening performance blurs the traditional boundaries of BSL Interpreter and Storyteller and reaches a point where spoken word and sign have become integral to each other.


Thursday 6.30 – 9pm The Welcome Event

7.30pm Re-Live

Karin Diamond &

Alison O'Connor

Re-Live: Life Story Theatre: Stories of change
This dynamic presentation will explore the impact of Re-Live’s life story theatre work. Featuring testimonies from participants, film clips of work and stories of change, this will provide a powerful insight into the potential of theatre to improve health and wellbeing.

Friday 11am

Chair: Emily Underwood Lee

Dr Emily Underwood-Lee is Research Fellow at the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of South Wales. Her research interests include autobiographical performance and the intersection of the arts and health.

My Mother’s Hand as a Bird

Jodie Allinson

Exploring voicelessness after stroke. A practice-as-research performance exploring stories of stroke recovery, voice and power.

Dramaturgy: Bridget Keehan Sound Design: Chris Young

Sorting the Sock Drawer

Eirwen Malin

Sorting the Sock Drawer is an entertaining performance that traces the process of coming to terms with a diagnosis of a degenerative condition; the stories have ups as well as downs, laughter as well as loss.

Friday 2.30pm

Chair: Emily Underwood Lee

Killer Cells

Rachel Pedley-Miller

A play written by Sara Lewis and performed by Rachel Pedley-Miller in which two recurrent miscarriage sufferers share their experiences of Killer Cells.

All About My Tits 

Anna Suschitzky

All About My Tits raises the question, what and who are breasts for?  Engaging with the politics of infant feeding, the performance is an attempt to provide a platform to talk about breastfeeding and encourage the audience to re-examine their own relationship to breasts.  

Open Discussion

Women’s Health Issues following the performances

Saturday 11am

Chair: Emily Underwood Lee

Dispatches from the Other Kingdom:

Stories of Cancer

Joseph Sobol

Weaving together personal stories of the great traditional Appalachian storyteller Ray Hicks and his encounters with the medical system towards the end of his life with stories drawn from the ETSU Cancer Stories Project, a six-year collaboration between oncologists, medical communication specialists, and storytellers.

Chronic Pain : A Comedy

Karma Waltonen

Karma Waltonen is a teacher, scholar, writer, stand-up comic, and chronic pain patient; she's going to combine everything in "Chronic Pain: A Comedy"

Saturday 2.30pm

Chair: Angela Maddock

Angela Maddock is a lecturer and artist with a particular interest in textile practice. She has recently completed a six month Parallel Practices Award with The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King's College, London.

Drama Therapy Workshop

Melanie Beer

Open Sesame! : In this experiential workshop we will consider the importance of stories as therapeutic tools within our drama therapy practice and explore how story enactment can be a vehicle for healing.

It Could Be Us

Dino Rovaretti

Dino Rovaretti is a solo performance maker devising autobiographical works around medical narratives and visions of anatomy and illness. 


Rachel Whittal-Williams

The project developed out of a growing awareness that miscarriage support currently offered was insufficient. The goal of the project is to develop and improve person centred care and support given to women and their families during and after a miscarriage.

Ayu Baker

Influenced by textile art, Alzheimer's: Within is a series of thread and textile works based upon a conversation with people who suffers from dementia that conveyed the loss of memory, personality, identity, independence and lives caused by the disease.

Eleanor Allitt

Stories to uplift and refresh.  I paint narrative stories for hospital spaces, eg corridors, rest rooms in the form of a series of pictures linked by text. 

Anne Taylor

‘Sharing stories in cyber space: How creative, expressive and reflective writing in groups can aid personal and professional development in an online learning environment’

Using data derived from over 60 participants on an online therapeutic and reflective writing course, this presentation will suggest that working in a virtual environment can provide benefits that make it a valuable alternative to a face-to-face group experience.

Helen Prior

‘Telling it like it is – stories of mental health’

Mind believes that storytelling can be used to support the mental health of individuals and communities: by working with refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, and supporting them to tell their stories, we are looking to create a common discourse, a shared understanding which acknowledges cultural differences but rejects negative and unhelpful stereotypes.

Claire Greason

Narrative enquiry exploring how mental health professionals use their lived experience of mental health service use in their work.

Claire Greason is a 2nd year PhD student at Leeds Trinity University working within the Department of Psychology. Her interest in this area arises from her own experience in the ‘mental health’ system as a survivor and staff member.

Bonnie Millar &, Derek Hoare

Bonnie’s research examines whether the language of tinnitus is reflective of the communication needs of those living with tinnitus and its effects on people’s social inclusion.

Allison Galbraith

We all have music that is personal to us and forms the unique soundtrack of our lives: Allison shares Playlist for Life's approach to unlocking your memories and personal stories through the music you love.

Jason and Becky

CIVIC in Venice: In July 2016, collaborative artists Jason & Becky undertook a residency in a homeless shelter in Venice, mapping a new emotional geography for the city based on the stories the residents had generously shared.

Stu Packer

‘Superact’ creatively improve lives by tapping into people's own power of storytelling. The work is healing, transformative and uplifting.

Emma Lazenby

ForMed Films are a not for profit animation studio who specialise in concise, empowering and informative films for medical education.

Lisa Rosetti

Presentation of using story circles, biblio-poetry therapeutic interventions and Realia; my work focuses on unlocking the stories of Hope and Recovery within all of us

Wendy Woolfson

Out of Harm provides therapeutic storytelling workshops for young people to explore their experience of self-harm, and have produced a Conversation Guide to enable adults to support young people they are concerned about or who disclose self-harm, in the best way possible.

Roanne Thomas

The purpose of this poster is to discuss two participatory projects incorporating storytelling and video in order to explore First Nations and Métis peoples’ cancer experiences in Canada.

Rebecca Smart

A presentation about dual working between an arts psychotherapist and a dramatherapist running an ongoing group using storytelling, creative writing and art therapy with older adults on a mental health ward.

Glenn Miles

Glenn Miles has worked in Cambodia much of his career and has helped facilitate several toolkits for children to prevent abuse and violence, be aware of the dangers of pornography and understand that there is a future after abuse in the form of flip-charts, comics and videos portraying puppets, animation and singing children.

See and

Sonia Vougioukalou & Catherine Lamont

‘Living Alone with Cancer Explorations’ used a unique community-based arts for health approach to enable cancer survivors to express the physical, emotional and financial implications of facing cancer while living alone through art.

Angie Gail

A game which explores the effects of NEURO illnesses and brings into thought questions about how does a diagnosis effects people with no medical conditions and encourages people to

"walk a mile in another’s shoes".

Cheryl Beer

Our Creative Digital Developer, Cheryl Beer, will be circulating amongst delegates to collate a Conference Ethnographic Poem, as well as weaving magic and literally spinning yarns at our Evaluative Installation 'Storytelling Cloak from a Doctor's Coat' where volunteers Caroline Lane & Ann Battye, from knitting groups that have been involved in our Knitting to Reclaim Well Being, will be with Cheryl, helping you add to the installation story.


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