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The Art of Comedy: Awareness & Youth Engagement

By | Youth | No Comments

Comedy Night

The Art of Stand-up Comedy in aid of Neurological Conditions

Mark Dolan as seen on Channel Four’s “Mad Bad Ad Show” and “The World’s…And Me,” and Rina Lina, Host of “Balls of Steel” took the night away in laughter and cheer at Goodenough College, where a group of post-graduate and undergraduate students joined. An evening filled with gripping laughter and fun to add to the twist of utilising the arts, in this case performance, to stimulate an audience and raise funds for brain and spinal cord illnesses.

Event Venue
July 23rd, 2013
William Goodenough College, London WC1N 2AB

Education Pilot – Africa

By | Art-Science, Worldwide, Youth | No Comments

Cross-disciplinary Awareness-education Pilot in Nairobi, Kenya


The Problems:

  • Stigma and discrimination due to lack of awareness and traditional cultural beliefs that neurological illnesses, particularly epilepsy, are contagious and a curse.
  • 1 in 9 people with epilepsy go untreated in Africa due to lack of resources and awareness-education

Why Kenya?

Nairobi Kenya is the headquarters of our partners at the African Neurological Disease Research Foundation (ANDREF). We hoped to pilot there first and expand the programme with grassroots organisations throughout Africa.

The Pilot Objectives:

Short-term goals

  • Provide a Cross-disciplinary awareness-education model to improve stigma and discrimination of epilepsy
  • Distributing Information resources for students

Long-term goals

  • Developing a replicable awareness-educational program for ANDREF to continue in clinics and schools
  • Foster a generational cycle of change in the perception of epilepsy and other neurological illnesses in Africa as treatable conditions.


  • We piloted an innovative cross-disciplinary awareness-education model that included a combination of dance, film, lectures and pop-quizes to improve stigma and discrimination of epilepsy in two schools in Kenya
  • We ran the pilot with over 2,000 students and tested their knowledge using lectures from Movement for Hope researchers and former Miss University of Nairobi who has epilepsy, combined with before and after questionnaires. Overall, students went from 8% to 97% increased learning of epilepsy.
  • Movement for Hope worked directly with ANDREF to further develop the cross-disciplinary education model so that it was replicable and sustainable with local partners in Nairobi to continue in schools
  • Movement for Hope volunteers successfully distributed information on epilepsy to the community and students, providing immediate guidance on how to help someone having a seizure, and local support resources.

Further Impact

  • We are also delighted to announce that the piloted Movement for Hope cross-disciplinary education model and ANDREF Film has now been accepted into the Ministry of Education.
  • Our team will continue to work with ANDREF to develop and expand sustainable health-education programs and improved models for sustainable healthcare


Thank you to the generous funders at the Youth Funding Network and public donations at the UK Breakdance Championship World Finals 2012, and to the volunteer dancers at Awareness Through Dance, volunteer therapists and community advocates from ANDREF and all the volunteers at Movement for Hope that contributed to this pilot.

Photos produced by Adam Illsley

Education Pilot – China

By | Worldwide, Youth | No Comments

Chongqing Education Pilot



Movment for Hope ChinaDecember 2013, Movement for Hope ran its third youth outreach pilot in Chongquing, China. It was our first pilot project in China.
1.) First, we will be creatively engage young people, teaching them about neurological conditions. The aim is to decrease stigma and discrimination through education about brain and spinal cord illnesses.
2.)Second, we visited hospitals to share dialogue with professors and clinicians on neurological illnesses. The program was delivered in Chinese.


1.)The results of a before and after survey showed that students 94% rated their knowledge and understanding of neurological conditions as significantly improved. 58% of students knew someone with a neurological condition.
2.)97% of people learnt about Movement for Hope and how they can better support people with neurological illnesses in China.

School Venues:
December 20th 2013
International Department of Chongqing No.1 Middle School
2 Huxia Road
Northern New Zone
Chongqing 401122

    December 21st 2013
    Chongqing No1. International Studies School
    2 Huxia Road
    Northern New Zone
    Chongqing 401122


    Chinese (中文):
    2013 年末,我们将抵达中国重庆,开展一个前期活动, 以达到两个目的。我们将去到重庆一中国际部与师生们互动向青少年介绍了解有关大脑和脊椎神经的疾病,提高大家对神经系统疾病的认识,希望通过这种形式的宣传活动让大家行动起来,使更多的人关心和帮助这个群体。我们也会渠道当地的医疗机构同研究和从事该方向的专业人员进行采访和交流。
    To find out more or contact the project leader please fill in your query below.

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    Sarah Inspired – patient-advocate story

    By | Dance, Films, Youth | No Comments

    Sarah Ezekiel Inspired

    Sarah inspired is Movement for Hopes first awareness film. The film features Sarah Ezekiel, who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), and her 14 year old daughter Aviva, a young dancer and story teller who choreographed the dancing in the film for her mother.

    Motor neurone disease is a progressive neurological disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. The disease progressively disables a person disrupting voluntary movement, such a walking, onward to involuntary movement, such as breathing. Sarah has lived with the or over twelve years now.

    At the start of this film we wanted to know what kept Sarah going and how she has found her identity once again. The film has reached over 18,000 people and been featured in prestigious venues such as the Bloomsbury Theatre.

    Sarah now sits as an honour art member of Movement for Hope’s board and an active member of our steering committee. Her story has evolved into several awareness projects and she has taken the reins of her life’s hobby, painting, back from the reins of MND using special adaptive eye gaze equipment. This equipment allows her to communicate with her family, friends, and fans.

    Below features the inspire video and several other videos of Sarah’s.

  • Sarah Ezekiel inspired
  • Aviva’s Story
  • Sarah’s Journey to Paint
  • GRC Awareness & Dance Video Series – USA

    By | Dance, Films, Worldwide, Youth | No Comments

    Gwen Rakotovao Series

    Dancing that mixes styles and embraces the surroundings of New York as its backdrop–a story-telling adventure of hope and public awareness for two movement-debilitating neurological conditions.

    Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 23.22.08

    This film series was a Movement for Hope project with a group of talented young dancers, directed and produced by the Gwen Rakotovao company. It features prestigious international dancers across several genres of dance, including contemporary dance, locking, waacking, jazz, and tap dance. The project was inspired by the Move Hope Project, which featured awareness for two movement-debilitating conditions called Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The Move Hope Project’s mission was to connect science and art in a unique way to raise awareness for MND and MS. The two diseases currently have no cure. The GRC video series uses various definitions of Move, Hope, and Project to raise awareness and inspire others!


    The film series received international coverage in the UK, Paris, and New York. Click on the videos below to watch the entire series.


    Below: English translation (left), original article (right)

    USA Dance-a-thon and Youth Education

    By | Dance, Worldwide, Youth | No Comments

    Move 4 Health USA Dance-a-thon

    Dancing to support neurological health


    Movement for Hope held its first dance-a-thon in the United States! The initiative was lead by a group of young students in a program called JAVA, John Adams Volunteer Association.  The programme started with a large Skype education programme in which students participating in the dance-a-thon learned about neurological conditions and what their impact is on society.



    To improve awareness and funding support for neurological conditions.
    The students then planned together and took the initiative to run a large school-wide all night dancing event!! The dance-a-thon was titled “Move 4 Health”, where students and the local community danced all night long and raised $2000 to support people with neurological conditions!
    Proceeds from the event will be split equally for research, awareness education, and adaptive equipment purchases to improve the outcomes for people with brain & spinal cord illnesses!1011081_466020340156774_1461300054_n

    • Collaborate
    • Advocate
    • Connect

    UK Bboy Champs World Finals ’13

    By | Dance, Youth | No Comments

    UK Bboy Championships World Finals

    After two years of being the UK Bboy Championships’ official charity, Movement for Hope and UK Champs celebrate their achievements together!

    Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 22.27.51

    Movement for Hope is proud to have been the first ever charity that the UK Bboy Championship World Finals supported. Likewise, at the inception of Movement for Hope, the World Finals was one of our first partnerships and gave us a ‘leap forward’ for more innovative ways to raise awareness for brain and spinal cord illnesses on the world stage.

    In 2013, the funding raised at the World Finals 2012 went towards co-funding the rehabilitation supplies for two clinics in the slums of Nairobi (pictured right), as well as piloting a novel education model in two schools (pictured left) pairing dance, film and education on epilepsy, a prevalent neurological condition in Africa, where 9 out of 10 people go untreated due to lack of access to medical treatment and current stigmas surrounding the illness.

    In years previous, funding from the UK Bboy Championships World Finals 2011 went to support several awareness-education projects supporting to movement debilitating neurological illnesses, called Motor Neurone Disease and Multiple Sclerosis (i.e. the Move Hope Project). This project was featured internationally in the USA, UK and France. Then in 2012, Movement for Hope and the UK Bboy Championships partnered on an awareness video developed from the event to showcase how alike we are despite our level of ability. The running slogan for the 2012 World Finals campaign slogan, “Life is a Battle”, was a prelude to the short film (below). The film features world class dancers from around the globe, with a particular focus on the 2011 winners. At the 2012 event itself, the legendary Crazy Legs went out into a crowd of over 3,000 people with our donations bucket to help support the cause, and donated an autographed t-shirt which raised an immediate few hundred pounds towards the cause.
    In a ground-breaking move to Birmingham our partnership has extended online and we are happy to share continued support from some of leading world-class patron dancers!

    Photos by Adam Illsley (B&W)

    *There will be more content from our UK Bboy Championship World Finals partnership launching soon.

    Getting Young Researchers Involved

    By | Seminars, Youth | No Comments

    Sharing the intersection of Research and Public Audiences

    Queen Sq ChrisMovement for Hope was invited to speak at the 14th Annual Queen Square Symposium, at the UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN), Queen Square. The IoN Queen Square is an prestigious neuroscience institution well known for its research and teaching in Neurology and Brain Imaging.

    Movement for Hope presented it’s youth-led work on sharing research and patient stories with public audiences through innovative methods of multimedia arts.
    Queen Sq Chris
    The presentation went out to over 60 Masters and PhD students, several senior researchers/mentors and six visiting students from the Berlin School of Brain and Mind Sciences. Young researchers spanned from over six different research fields of neuroscience that covers every area of neurological illness, including Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration, Neuroimaging, and Movement Disorders.
    Article here

    UK Bboy Championships 2012

    By | Dance, Youth | No Comments

    UK Bboy Championship World Finals 2012

    Movement for Hope and UK Bboy Championship World Finals are partnered again this year to raise support for neurological conditions through dance!!

    The best street dancers in the world will dance face-to-face in the biggest battles of the year in the United Kingdom. Movement for Hope will be there to represent the leading cause of disability (and in some cases death) worldwide.
    It seems neurological conditions are the best kept secret that affect all of our lives. The world health organisation estimates as many as one billion people in the world are affected by neurological conditions. Movement for Hope and UK Bboy Championships, make a powerhouse team of innovation and celebration of dance for a cause that is all around us.

    We are battling back!
    Follow #lifesabattle on twitter
    To see the All Street Dance feature on this partnership click here 

    Impact of this event:

    Raising Awareness Next to the Dance Floor

    By | Dance, Youth | No Comments


    “Awareness in Unexpected Places: Underground Arts Event”: OTSS!!!

    Movement for Hope teamed up with Nicola Only the Strong Survive (OTSS), a new dance competition where the best dancers face-off for the title of “OTSS Most Wanted Dancer” to raise awareness of neurological conditions.

    Take a look at what happened!

    Event Information:

    Movement for Hope receives 20% for all tickets we sell and donations at the event!

    4th/5th June

    From 1pm until late (both days)


    Nearest Station: Holborn

    Parker Street, WC2B 5PW

    June 4th: Preselections

    June 5th: Finals

    (Door Entry: £25 or volunteer for free)


    Workshop 6th June

    Chelsea Theatre

    World’s End Pl London,

    Greater London, SW10 0DR

    (Price: £16)