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Kidney Care UK Gala Dinner
RAG Members attend the Kidney Care UK Gala Dinner

Members of the Renal Arts Group and renal researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, QUB were delighted to attend the Kidney Care UK Gala Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast to celebrate the kidney community in Northern Ireland. The event was attended by the Kidney Care UK Senior Management Team, NI Ambassadors and Advocacy Officers from across the UK, along with local charities, healthcare staff and people living with kidney disease, for an evening of delicious food and fantastic entertainment. The evening was hosted by Stephen Watson, BBC NI sports presenter and kidney transplant recipient, with performances by RAG members Jean Michelo and RagBone!

We would like to extend a huge thank you to Kidney Care UK for organising this amazing celebration and their continued support for the Renal Arts Group.

Find out more about Kidney Care UK
NI Science Festival
The Future of Kidney Research is STEAM Powered

The Renal Arts Group were delighted to partner with researchers from the QUB Centre for Public Health to take part in an NI Science Festival 2022 event on Sunday 20th February at 2.30pm in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.

Kidney disease affects around 850 million people worldwide with numbers continuing to rise. Holistic approaches which harness cutting edge science and art therapies are key to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. This event brought together clinicians, researchers, academics and artists for a wonderful afternoon of science, art, performance and music!

The event was hosted by Dr Claire Hill, Research Fellow at the QUB Centre for Public Health, with speakers Professor Peter Maxwell, Consultant Nephrologist, Dr Katie Kerr, Research Fellow, Centre for Public Health, QUB, Dr Claire Carswell, Research Fellow, School of Nursing, QUB and Department of Public Health, University of York, and William Johnston, writer and kidney transplant recipient. We were also joined by RagBone, featuring Mr Ian Walsh, Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Alistair MacKenzie, Social Worker at South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Lyn McMullan, Audiovisual Producer, who closed the event with some new music and old favourites.

A huge thank you to all who joined us, and to our partners at the QUB Centre for Public Health for organising this fantastic event.

William Johnston speaking at RAG ESRC event
ESRC Festival of Social Science 2019
The Art of Health and Wellbeing

In November the group held a successful event at the Sunflower public house, Belfast ‘The Art of Health and Wellbeing’ as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science 2019. The event aimed to explore the intersection of creativity, arts and health and showcased a variety of performances from patients and healthcare professionals, as well as an exhibition of art created by patients during haemodialysis. This artwork was generated via Claire Carswell’s PhD research study, supervised by Dr Helen Noble, Professor Joanne Reid and Mr Ian Walsh which is exploring the feasibility of implementing arts-based interventions in haemodialysis units.

The event was hosted by Dr Helen Noble, Senior Lecturer and Professor Peter Maxwell, Consultant Nephrologist who welcomed kidney transplant patients William Johnston and Shaun Greene to discuss the impact of the arts on their health and wellbeing during their renal healthcare journey. Claire Carswell, presented work from her study, and also performed a monologue from a play focussing on patient mental health. Guest speaker Deborah Duval, Managing Editor of Kidney Matters, Kidney Care UK explained how the charity supports renal arts in Northern Ireland and the event concluded with a lively blues set from RAGBONE, featuring Mr Ian Walsh, Consultant Surgeon and Senior Lecturer, Alistair MacKenzie, Social Worker at South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Lyn McMullan, Audiovisual Producer. A truly multi-professional line-up!

Getting Creative With Health - Slugger O'Toole article by Claire Carswell
Mindful Museum Workshop
A series of mindfulness and wellbeing workshops for renal patients

Dr Helen Noble and Lesley Bratty from the Northern Ireland Kidney Patient Association led a Mindfulness and Yoga workshop to reduce stress and improve wellbeing at a Belfast yoga studio on Saturday 23rd November. The workshop was attended by renal patients, carers and practitioners who learnt about mindfulness practice and took part in breathing exercises, yoga and meditation. We received fantastic feedback from participants about the workshop as well as requests to run this event again in future.

On Wednesday 11th December, members of the group and the wider renal community attended the Ulster Museum for a ‘Mindfulness at the Museum’ workshop. The group received a guided gallery tour by Outreach Officer Sharon McKibben, and then took part in an art activity creating collaged mirrors. All the participants really enjoyed the workshop and expressed a strong interest in taking part in future museum events. We also discussed the potential of taking museum outreach into renal units for haemodialysis patients.

The workshops were generously supported by NIKPA

World Kidney Day 2021
Colourful Kidneys

To celebrate World Kidney Day 2021 one of our group members, Amy Parkes, artist and kidney patient, designed 2 kidney templates that could be downloaded and decorated, which we then shared via our social media channels on World Kidney Day on Thursday 11th March.

Please continue to share your creations with us on social media or email them to Anna Wilson.

Colourful Kidneys Gallery