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Meghann Ward

Research student

Meghann Ward

Lancaster University

Furness Building



Tel: +44 7718 479239

Current Research

My ESRC-funded CASE Studentship considers the health and wellbeing benefits of engaging in participatory arts activities for people with dementia and their carers. The project is based at Theatre by the Lake's 'Setting the Scene' programme in Keswick, Cumbria, which is a multi-modal and creative activity group. Using a participatory action research (PAR) methodology and mixed methods, the project will explore and evaluate the overall effectiveness of 'Setting the Scene', in addition to the effectiveness of each of the individual activities conducted in the programme - which include (but are not limited to) storytelling, movement and dance, arts and crafts, singing and group games. The research will also consider how best to sustain the engagement of people with dementia in creative arts settings. Participants will be included in the PAR element of the research through action learning groups and interviews, with their feedback aiding in the gradual development and refinement of 'Setting the Scene'. The research is underpinned by therapeutic landscapes literature (Gesler, 1993; Williams, 2007) and Martin Seligman's Positive Psychology PERMA model of wellbeing (2011). 

The intended outcomes of this project include:

1) a transferable Logic model illustrating the development and maintence of 'Setting the Scene';

2) a brief report of findings for Theatre by the Lake; and

3) an exhibition based in Theatre by the Lake's gallery space for members, families and the general public to visit.

Fieldwork is taking place from July 2018 - September 2019.

Supervised By

Professor Christine Milligan (Co-Director of Lancaster University Centre for Ageing Research)

Professor Emma Rose (Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts)

Research Interests

With a multi-disciplinary background in Psychology, Anthropology and Human Geography, my overall research interests and past projects include the following:

  • Health, Wellbeing and Quality of life
  • Ageing and Memory
  • Affect and Emotion
  • Music and Arts
  • Space and Place
  • Therapeutic Landscapes
  • Soundscapes and Multi-sensorial scapes
  • Human and Animal relations in wellbeing context
  • Materiality, Agency and More-than-human relations
  • Identity, Belonging and 'Dys'placement
  • Socioemotional selectivity theory


Ph.D Health Research - Lancaster University 2017 - 2020 (ongoing)

MRes. Health and Wellbeing - Lancaster University 2016 - 2017 - Merit

M.A. Anthropology - Queen's University Belfast 2015 - 2016 - Distinction

BSc. (Hons) Psychology - Queen's University Belfast 2012 - 2015 - 1st Class

Other Interests and Hobbies

I am a singer-songwriter and pianist but also experiment with woodwind and percussion instruments. I have been a member in a number of different bands and worked as a wedding musician for over a year in Northern Ireland. I currently take part in occasional open mics and special events at Lancaster University.