LSTM staff and students took Club Tropicana to the Bollington Festival on the 26th May in the town of Bollington near Macclesfield, Northwest England.
The festival, which is open to all ages, takes place over several weeks and showcases talent from the North West region and across the UK (including from the arts, music and comedy). It is held every 5-7 years and aims to enrich the lives of those that live and work in the community.
LSTM’s Shannon McSweeney and Shannon Summers brought along mosquito and tsetse demonstrations, gruesome parasites in jars and fact cards to inform and inspire the young visitors who came along to see the team in the town’s Civic Hall. Shannon and Shannon had help from LSTM TEL team’s David Callaghan who encouraged the visitors to make their own mosquito out of pipecleaners or colour in a picture of a mosquito to decorate the feedback board.
Following on from her success at Pint of Science, CMNH’s Terry Kana also joined the team at Bollington with some demonstrations of the tools and methods used to improve the health of mothers and new-borns in low to middle income countries including penguin aspirators and a demonstration of kangaroo care. Terry worked alongside Laura Green, the project manager of B!RTH, a unique collaboration between science and theatre. Laura enlightened visitors about B!RTH’s seven provocative plays, which are free to download here, and aims to raise awareness and provoke debate around the vast inequality in maternal and newborn health across the world. LSTM’s Public Engagement Manager Elli Wright and Events Manager Danielle Bailey gave an overview of the work of LSTM and encouraged the youngsters to ask our scientists questions including what is the worst tropical disease you can get?
Tim Marten at the Bollington commented “Thank you for such a fantastic afternoon with your Club Tropicana displays and activities. The engagement with the younger members of the community was lovely; I’m sure that some of them will go on to be the scientists of the future so well done.” LSTM's Public Engagement Manager, Dr Elli Wright, added: “It was fantastic to go to the Bollington Festival to show the diverse spread of work at LSTM and get the message out there that LSTM is committed to providing life-saving treatments through innovation and education.
This weekend also gave the team an opportunity to develop new ideas of how to engage with a young audience about our work, as the team looks ahead to the Bluedot Festival in July. Thank you to the organisers of the Bollington Festival including Jon and Tim for inviting us and to the team for being incredibly helpful and welcoming on the day.”