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If you have any questions about the project please get in touch using the links opposite.

If you’re a creative practitioner and would like to be considered for future paid opportunities with Talent 25, you can download our Expression of Interest form:

Expression of Interest info

Expression of Interest form

© De Montfort University 2020

Meet the Team

Talent 25
Research Team

Professor Bertha Ochieng

Principal Investigator

I am Professor of Integrated Health and Social Care at De Montfort University. I have extensive experience of health and social care provision as a clinician, an academic and as a researcher working with community groups and health and social care providers. My focus is on improving health and social care through the provision of high-quality education and research that provides positive results to marginalised and socially disadvantage populations throughout the life span. I’m particularly interested in Community empowerment and engagement to enable the voices of marginalised and socially disadvantaged populations to be heard in the planning and delivery of services.

Read my bio.

Dr. Amar Daxini

Research Fellow

I am a Research Fellow for the Talent25 programme. I received my PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2019. My research background is in social psychology with expertise in quantitative approaches to behaviour change. My research interests include: survey development, quantitative data analysis, socio-psychological determinants of human behaviour and potential mechanisms for behaviour change. Over the course of my career, I have published a number of research papers using behaviour theory and quantitative approaches.

Dr. Diretnan Dikwal Bot

Research Fellow

I am a qualitative researcher with a wide range of experience working with vulnerable groups both in the UK and Africa. My PhD contributed novel insights on the role of social policy in reinforcing gender marginalisation in West Africa. My interests and expertise focus broadly on the analysis of media use, social inequality and cultural change with a particular interest in family, gender, disability and ethnicity.  With an undergraduate background in performance arts, I have also designed local school plays aimed at changing perceptions of child marriage practices in Plateau State, Nigeria. With Talent 25, I am extending my research on the family, being especially interested in creativity and talent development in children and young adults. My publications are currently within the fields of media, gender, cultural politics and childhood studies.

Research Group

Creative & Delivery Team

Kay Hardiman

Programme Director

I developed a love for creativity from my parents and from an inspiring drama teacher. I have been lucky enough to have worked for over twenty years pursuing my interests in art, creativity, health and education. I am passionate about how creativity can make a positive difference to all our lives – helping us grow in confidence, develop our talents and skills, improve our wellbeing and have fun and make friends. I have worked on large research programmes with teenagers, people with dementia and women with complex needs, as well as with families and schools. Directing the Talent 25 programme means I get to work with a great team of people and meet the fantastic families and babies that are helping us on this very special research programme.

Davey Ivens

Programme Co-Ordinator

I joined Talent 25 after 18 years of working to encourage and empower young people to get involved in museums, arts and culture in Leicester and the East Midlands. I’m from an Irish family – brought up in inner-city Coventry – where I got my love for stories from my Mum and Grandma and was taught to respect my neighbours, wherever they were from. For relaxation I like to read, socialise, watch baseball and football, mess about on my scooter and spend time with my grand-daughter. I’m currently studying part-time for an M.A. History at DMU.

Emily Rance

Talent 25 Co-Ordinator

I am a placement student from De Montfort University, I studied Arts and Festival Management for two years before taking an industry placement year to work on the Talent25 programme before returning to my studies. I have past experience teaching dance in communities and primary schools and specialised in leading dance and disabilities classes. I am super excited to be part of such a special project and make a difference for young people all before I finish my degree!

Catherine Flood

Public Engagement Co-Ordinator

I knew I wanted to work with communities as soon as I finished my master’s in Cultural Events Management. I really enjoy seeing how arts and cultural activities can inspire and bring people together, and it’s exciting to work with a team that’s giving young people the opportunity to nurture their own interests. When I was a child, I always had my head in a book, and that’s stayed with me – I still love reading and writing. I can’t wait to see how the programme develops!

Liz Clark

Lead Artist

I work exclusively in early years and with children with special educational needs. I also make theatre and work as an independent dance artist with a rich and varied creative, child-led practice. I’m an experienced trainer in creative movement and currently associate artist for People Dancing with the responsibility for development of a national network to support artists and practitioners who want to work through dance in Early Years.There is a unique and creative artist inside every child and that the arts play a vital in the role in children’s development. Being involved in Talent 25 means that I can be involved in the exciting research into the impact arts can have on a child’s life in those important first few years of life.

Joss Mcauley

Community Connector

I have lived and worked in Leicester for most of my working life, and worked with families and children in the city for most of that time. I am a qualified Primary Teacher, and have worked in a number of schools across the city. For the last ten years I have worked as a Children’s Centre Teacher and have loved getting to know and working with local communities. I am also trained as a Forest School Practitioner, and have a passion for working outdoors with children and families. I love visiting the theatre, and watching dance or live music performances. My role with T25 is to connect with local communities, introduce families to the project, and support the delivery of the project’s aims.

Nasreen Khalifa

Community Engagement Assitant

I am currently studying Education Studies at University. During my childhood years I took part in activities and programmes such as Spark festival and Sure Start that were keen on developing creativity at a young age, so that it can help children with their cultural engagement when they get older. I can say that this has helped me to develop my creativity skills and my cultural engagement massively. It has had an impact on my life, in and out of education in a very positive way as being involved in creativity from a young age has helped me to grow intellectually and socially. And also develop my artistic interest by becoming independent and innovative especially when trying to express myself when writing for example.

Morgan Stockton

Leicester Gallery

Alongside working with Talent25 facilitating workshops and documenting the amazing project through photography, I also work at Leicester Gallery where I run free family workshops for children of all ages. Our free family activities are designed to inspire imaginations, engage, challenge and spend some time being creative, making and exploring contemporary art as a family which goes hand in hand with Talent 25’s ethos.