All aboard the Sussex Brain Bus!
Posted on behalf of: Sussex Neuroscience
Last updated: Friday, 31 March 2023
Researchers at the University of Sussex are inviting people from Brighton & Hove to hop onboard the Sussex Brain Bus at its official launch at Hove Lawns, on Friday 24 March, between 4pm and 6pm.
The Sussex Brain Bus, which is one of the Stagecoach South 700 Coastliner fleet running from Brighton to Littlehampton, is emblazoned with art and information about dementia research and tips for keeping brains healthy. It is a joint project between psychology researchers at the University of Sussex and a local artist, Daniel Locke. Ideas for the bus design were crafted from workshops run by the researchers with members of the local Brighton community.
The bus will park at Hove Lawns and is open for anyone to attend. The free event has been arranged to encourage conversations about dementia – which affects nearly one million people across the UK and how people can keep their brains healthy. Dr Sarah King and Dr Claire Lancaster from the University’s School of Psychology will be present to talk about the latest research on maintaining a healthy brain, with simple advice for people of all ages. There will also be activities for children, refreshments and the opportunity to meet some of Brighton’s VIPs, including local MPs.
The initiative is thanks to a £25,000 funding boost from Alzheimer’s Research UK’s flagship public outreach scheme, the Inspire Fund.
Dr Sarah King, Reader in Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Sussex School of Psychology, said:
“It is fantastic to use the Sussex Brain Bus as a canvas to talk about the research we’re doing at the University of Sussex and to motivate people to keep their brains in good shape. This brain exhibition on wheels is a great way to spread the word in communities between Brighton and Littlehampton. I have ridden the bus myself and it sparked some great conversations with a diverse range of people.”
Daniel Locke, Brighton-based artist and graphic novelist, added:
“I’m super excited to be part of the Sussex Brain Bus project. As a local artist it’s always thrilling to see my work out in the community, and what better way to exhibit than on a bus making its way through our local area? This is especially true when it will be raising awareness of a really important issue.”
Tim Parry, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Our brains are incredible. They’re responsible for making us who we are, housing our memories, our emotions, and our creativity. The diseases that cause dementia put all this at risk. However, developing dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older and there are things we can do to keep the brain healthy to help us reduce the risk of developing the condition.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Inspire Fund grant scheme is all about engaging the public with dementia, and to show how simple changes in lifestyle can help you look after your brain. As well as stories in the news, engaging in dementia through art has become more common, suggesting it is becoming a more normalised part of the national conversation, which is a crucial step towards overcoming it. What better canvas for carrying out art to engage people about brain health than a bus! I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like.”
The project is also supported by Stagecoach, who are working in partnership with the University of Sussex to help get this important message out into the community.
Gordon Frost, Interim Managing Director, Stagecoach South said:
“Stagecoach South are extremely proud to support a worthy cause, working with Alzheimer's Research UK and Sussex University, to tackle misconceptions about dementia and raise awareness of the importance of dementia research.
“The Sussex Brain Bus is based at our Worthing depot, where it will predominately see use on the Coastliner 700, between Littlehampton, Worthing and Brighton, as well as the Pulse between West Durrington and Lancing.
"We are very much looking forward to working with the University of Sussex and Alzheimer’s Research UK on such an important subject and helping them to get these vital messages out into the community, we serve.”
Dementia affects nearly one million people across the UK, but a legacy of stigma and misunderstanding have led to widespread misconceptions about what it means to have the disease and what people can do to help improve the lives of those affected.
Alzheimer’s Research UK Inspire Fund promotes initiatives, such as the Sussex Brain Bus, that tackle misconceptions about dementia and raise awareness of the importance of dementia research and good brain health.
Anyone who pre-books a place at the launch event will be entitled to a free hot or soft drink. Book your place today: https://SussexBrainBus.eventbrite.co.uk