The award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize was a huge event for our School, and we felt it would be good to mark the occasion with the launch of our new School of Dementia Studies blog!
We were one of only 21 institutions to receive this award, which is the highest form of recognition that UK higher education institutions can receive. Our work in dementia care has had outstanding impact, reaching a wide range of care settings in the UK and beyond. This has included working with care providers on new approaches to developing the workforce, measuring quality of care, and carrying out research.
To celebrate the award, a small contingent of our friends and partners, both new and old, traveled with us to London for the ceremony. This included current students of the School, research and training staff, the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, and partners in the care homes sector. We all felt great pride in our association with the School of Dementia Studies, and also enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with old friends and build new relationships too.
On arriving at the London Guildhall, we all reveled in the opportunity to dress up for the day and enjoy some fabulous food and entertainment in the beautiful setting. The music was a particular highlight, with trumpeters, pipers and a very appropriate folk music group to match the medieval setting! It was also very interesting to hear what other universities were receiving awards for, which really drove home that quality and diversity of “real-world” research that is making a positive impact in the UK.
A smaller group were then invited to Buckingham Palace the next day for the actual awards ceremony.
It was a wonderful opportunity to take in the glamour and grandeur of the Palace and the occasion, and also to witness first-hand the “pomp and circumstance” that is part of Palace life! The Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall when we received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize. We were all struck by how down to earth and engaged with the importance of our research they were.
Overall, this was a really wonderful occasion, and a great chance for us all to celebrate our pride in working for the University of Bradford. Despite being such a formal event, it was also tremendously good fun, with lots of laughter, good company, and the chance to celebrate friendships both old and new.
Professor of Dementia Studies & Head of School