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Funding success for PenCLAHRC projects

Posted on November 17th 2014

A number of PenCLAHRC-supported projects are currently celebrating funding success.


REhabilitation TRAINing (ReTrain) is a stroke rehabilitation project looking to improve the quality of life of long-term stroke survivors. It is an exercise rehabilitation programme that has been developed based on expert guidelines and an approach called ARNI (Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury), involving techniques and strategies to help patients readjust to the consequences of their stroke and regain participation in the community. The idea for the research originally came from a stroke survivor and stroke survivors have been heavily involved in the development of the project.

Led by Dr Sarah Dean and Dr Leon Poltawski, with a team of collaborators, the project has recently been successful in securing £161,180 in funding from the Stroke Association to develop the programme and conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the ReTrain programme before going on to a full multi-centre trial. The overall aim of the research is to find out whether ReTrain can help stroke survivors to improve their recovery (particularly their physical mobility) after a stroke.

You can read more about the ReTrain project here.


The Healthy Lifestyles programme (HeLP) is a school-based programme which brings actors into the classroom to encourage and support children to make healthier choices on diet and exercise. This programme is innovative in having used parents and children to help design the activities. These activities involve assemblies, activity workshops, and sessions such as food tasting, in which children sample healthy snacks such as dried fruits and seeds, often trying something new for the first time. Parents are then invited into school to see their children perform in drama sessions.

The Healthy Lifestyles programme (HeLP) has been awarded additional funding by the NIHR Public Health Research programme to carry out a 24 month follow-up on the programme. This is due to the success of the project, which has exceeded its original recruitment targets.

You can read more about the HeLP project here.


The Supporting Teachers And childRen in Schools (STARS) study is examining whether a classroom management course for teachers can increase teachers’ skills in classroom management, and improve child behaviour and learning.

The Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) programme focuses on collaborative learning, discussions of teachers’ own experiences and group work to find solutions to problems encountered in the classroom. Enhancing teachers’ skills potentially benefits all children that come into contact with that teacher over subsequent years, so TCM may be a particularly cost-effective way to assist the most vulnerable children in our society.

The STARS project has recently received an additional £60,000 funding from the NIHR Public Health Research programme to expand their analysis of data collected during the trial through linking to the National Pupil Database.  This link will greatly broaden the range of educational outcomes that the project will be able to explore, with the additional option to track the study participants forwards in time in relation to key educational outcomes. 

You can read more about the STARs project here.

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