On 25 April Art Development and Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Playhouse (WYPH) and Leeds Older people’s Forum hosted an event aimed at recruiting more arts organisations to the cause of making Leeds a more Dementia Friendly place.

The city already has plenty to shout about with WYPH programming dementia friendly performances of plays such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and creating more than 100 new Dementia Friends; Royal Armouries and Marks and Spencer Archive have been running Dementia Cafes based around their collections, which helps aid participation.

Dementia Friendly Performances

Nicky Taylor, WYPH, recalled a conversation with a carer who had attended a dementia friendly performance, she had explained that whilst her mum couldn’t remember that they had been to see a play the happiness that she felt stayed with her for much longer.

Dementia Champion

Carl Newbould, Royal Armouries, trained as a Dementia Champion in order to train RA staff as Dementia Friends. Being Dementia Friends enables staff to provide a service to people living with dementia and their carers. Carl talked about how people living with dementia have the right to be able to access the city’s cultural attractions.

Dementia Cafe

Katie Entwistle, Marks and Spencer Archive, runs a Dementia Café. One woman’s memories were unlocked whilst handling some of the items from the archive. She talked about how she had worked in a clothing factory making M&S garments.

Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

In sharing successes it is hoped that some of the 29 arts organisations at the event will become a Leeds Dementia Action Alliance member. Many already had some great dementia friendly ideas. All participated in an information session led by Nicky Taylor as part of the event, leaving as Dementia Friends.

We’ll keep you posted on progress!