Sarah Cairns is the Activities Director in St Joseph’s Unit, Bantry General Hospital. The unit provides long-stay, respite, and palliative care to older people. Sarah is particularly interested in finding ways to support people achieve agency, empowerment and connection through creative activities. She is responsible for the delivery and co-facilitation of arts programming in St. Joseph’s Unit on behalf of the Arts for Health (AfH) partnership programme. She sits on the steering committee of AfH for which she also acts as dementia advisor.
Dr. Tara Byrne is the Arts Programme Manager at Age & Opportunity, the national organization that provides a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, civic engagement and personal development. She is also Artistic Director of Bealtaine, Ireland’s national festival celebrating the arts and creativity as we age.
A professional cellist, Gráinne Hope is the founder and Artistic Director of Music & Health Ireland, Ireland’s leading music in healthcare organisation. Following graduate studies in the US, Gráinne qualified as a Music and Health trainer through an EU programme partnership, and currently designs and manages music programmes in healthcare settings nationally in partnership with the National Concert Hall and County Council Arts Offices.
Tess Leak is a multi-disciplinary artist who has worked with the Arts for Health Partnership Programme in West Cork since 2010. She has collaborated with older people and diverse artists in healthcare settings on projects incorporating poetry, puppetry, museum-making and music. Tess is co-curator of the Museum of Song with artist Sharon Whooley and inclusion is at the heart of all her work.
Ailish Claffey is a Kildare-based independent dance artist. Through her work with diverse groups within the community for the last two decades, Ailish has developed her practice primarily focusing on Dance for Health. Ailish has designed and delivered many projects for various groups of mixed abilities, including adults in rehabilitation, older adults and people with Parkinson’s disease. Ailish was Dancer in Residence in the Age-Related Healthcare Unit at Tallaght University Hospital from 2015 – 2020.