Tuesday, 09 August 2022
Nottingham-born actor Vicky McClure has today received an honorary degree from the University of Nottingham.
McClure, who learned her craft at the renowned Television Workshop in Nottingham, was made a Doctor of Letters in front of hundreds of students graduating from the university’s School of Sociology and Social Policy.
She received her degree from the university’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Robert Mokaya, before delivering an inspirational speech to the graduands.
Vicky grew up in Wollaton, Nottingham, taking dance lessons from the age of three, and went on to earn a place at the Television Workshop aged 11.
In 2018, she joined forces with the University of Nottingham for the documentary Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure. Over the course of three months, working with the university and renowned scientists, she discovered the physical and emotional effects of music on the brain and created a choir of people living with dementia.
It was Vicky’s close personal experience of dementia, through caring for her Nana Iris, and through her role as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, where she saw first-hand how music and singing had affected people living with dementia.
The documentary demonstrated how music can stimulate a brain damaged by dementia and left a lasting legacy in our understanding of how music therapy can help people with dementia.
Vicky McClure said: “The Dementia Choir have taught me so much over the years. Through the TV series to it becoming a registered charity, it is by far my proudest work to date."
To have my work with dementia recognised by the University of Nottingham is a real honour. They have played a huge part in helping myself and viewers of the series understand scientifically, the positive effects music has to people living with dementia.
Justine Schneider, Professor of Mental Health and Social Care at the University of Nottingham, whose current research looks at dementia and singing, introduced McClure to the stage.
Vicky McClure’s commitment to the cause of dementia is deeply personal, strong and lasting. Her TV documentary with the Dementia Choir is a milestone in public awareness of this common disorder, and has changed perceptions of what people with dementia can achieve.
Watch the video below to see Vicky McClure being introduced on stage by Professor Justine Schneider; receiving her honorary degree from Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement, Professor Robert Mokaya; and delivering an inspirational speech to the graduands.
Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham
Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, University of Nottingham is a founding member of Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
The University is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.The University is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.
We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.