Bournemouth University takes BRANES project to Kenya

The success of a project which began life at Bournemouth University has led to it being shared further afield in Kenya and India.

BRANES (Building Awareness and Resilience through Neuropsychological Education in the Society), is a project led by Dr Shanti Shanker and Dr Ben Hicks from Bournemouth University which received a single public engagement grant from the British Psycholgical Society.

Two groups were targeted; adults with and without neurological disorders or neurodegenerative diseases along with local schoolchildren and young adults with the primary ambition to increase public awareness of the neuropsychology of such conditions as stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain injury and dementia.

It is hoped that increased knowledge will help build resilience and the project proved so successful, it also reached Kenya and India.

In Kenya the team were given the opportunity to work with senior prison officers through the African Prison Project.

During a five hour discussion, they explored the concepts behind BANES and how it could be adapted to increase resilience in inmates.

“We hope to adapt the Branses and continue to work with the officers to extend aspects of BRANES to this community,” Dr Shanker explained.

Shanker Venkatasubramanian, a BRANES facilitator who helped integrate concepts of mindfulness into he workshops, also spent a month in Kenya and disseminated aspects from the UK school programme to children from the local community.