Fertility Fest – when art meets science

images-6It will be the first event of its kind in the UK taking place in London and Birmingham, and it’s called Fertility Fest. The event, devised by writer Jessica Hepburn and producer Gabby Vautier, will bring together some of the country’s leading writers, visual artists, theatre-makers, film-directors and composers alongside some of the country’s foremost fertility experts for a day of performance, discussion and debate. Topics under the artistic microscope include facing the diagnosis of infertility, IVF, donation, surrogacy, the male experience, egg freezing, involuntary childlessness and alternative routes to parenthood.The full day of events concludes with a performance of a new play from award-winning writer Gareth Farr called The Quiet House about one couple’s journey when they enter the world of IVF.

Fertility Fest is in London on Saturday June 11 at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park and in Birmingham on Saturday May 28 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre. The artists involved in the days include Aaron Deemer, Amanda Gore, Amy Rosenthal, Fergus Davidson, Fiona Duffelen, Gabby Vautier, Gareth Farr, Jessica Hepburn, Jo Ind, Jody Day, Julia Copus, Jude Christian, Kazuko Hohki, Katie Barlow, Louise Ann Wilson, Matthew Dunster, Paula Knight, Peter Guttridge, Stander Chohan, Ronke Adekoluejo, Sarah Esdaile, Somalia Seaton, Steve Ball, Tabitha Moses, Tina Reid-Persin and Yann Seznec. The experts in the field joining them for the day will include Professor Allan, Pacey, Professor Geeta Nargund, Laura Witjens, Professor Jacky Boivin, Janine Elson, Juliet Tizzard, Kate Brian, Natalie Silverman, Sally Cheshire, Dr Sofia Gameiro, Dr Sue Avery, Professor Susan Bewley, Professor Susan Golombok, Tracey Sainsbury and Victoria MacDonald.

Tickets cost £25 a day which include all workshops, talks and a performance of The Quiet House – for more details and booking, visit the website www.fertilityfest.com

Launch of support service for fertility patients in Wales

CVOjtHGWoAAYj4YGreat news for anyone who is having difficulty conceiving and lives in Wales. Infertility Network UK launched its first dedicated patient information, advice and support service in Wales in a ceremony at the Welsh Assembly today led by Darren Millar, Shadow Minister for Health and Older People in Wales.

Susan Seenan, chief executive of Infertility Network UK said: ‘We are delighted to be launching a patient support service in Wales. For the first time in many years, all those who struggle to become parents will have a local patient support service that understands their particular problems, addresses regional issues and challenges and is locally managed.’

The new service, which was made possible by a major award from the Big Lottery Fund, will enable the charity to set up face-to-face and online support groups, a Wales-specific information service, employ a Welsh co-ordinator to manage the service and hold annual patient information events.

The launch was hosted by Darren Millar and attended by fellow Welsh Assembly members Julie Morgan and Kirsty Williams along with Peter Bowen-Simpkins and Dr Thackare from London Women’s Clinic Wales, BICA fertility counsellor Lynda Mizen and Dr Sofia Gameiro from Cardiff University among others.