We began working with the Health and Care sectors in 2013 during the development of Finding Joy, our award-winning production about dementia, and since then over 42,500 people have experienced our Health and Care workshops and performances. Our unique approach engages people to think differently about ways of caring and approaches to health and well-being and our success in supporting skills development led to major two year Arts Council England funding to spread our work more widely.
Current research shows the many positive effects that involvement in the arts has on those receiving care; including improved cognitive processes, attention, stimulation of memories and enhanced communication. This, in turn, has positive effects on families and carers, and the quality of the care environment.
We have two decades of experience in physical and non-verbal training. We are passionate about supporting new models of community-based, person-centered care by providing training and performances within an ethos of empathy, listening, acceptance, and playfulness. We believe that training is most successful, and skills are sustained, when learning is experiential, emotional and enjoyable.
With funding from Arts Council England, through our Strategic Touring Project during 2017-19, we were able to expand our work; supporting care homes, communities and organisations to become dementia friendly places, made up of dementia-skilled and dementia-aware people.
Listening with your Eyes workshops at care homes and hospices in Edinburgh during 2020 are being supported by Creative Scotland.
Vamos Theatre is proud to be a member of the Dementia Action Alliance and to have been a finalist in the Dementia Care Awards 2021
What we offer
We offer performances, workshops and talks for Health and Care settings.
For people living with dementia, our performances provide meaningful emotional and creative activity - one of the four Social Care Institute Markers of Excellence. Everyone taking part is supported to express themselves, and given alternative ways and choices when communicating with others and connecting to their surroundings. It is the taking part that counts and what makes a difference to physical and mental health.
We've found that involvement in our activities motivates staff, and improves job satisfaction: staff learn new skills and gain a deeper understanding of those in their care. Family members share connections sometimes lost through dementia: and can connect with their partners/parents/grandparents and others in a creative way.
We teach more than competence in communication: we help to show how to listen and observe, how to build relationships and trust, and how to behave with compassion and empathy. We enable those who learn with us to see the whole person with whom they are connecting, and not simply the health or care problem.
We have been trusted to deliver training and create performances for a wide range of Health and Care organisations, including Sanctuary Care, Extracare, NHS England, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Skills for Care, Age UK and numerous others.
Sharing Joy is a show created for people living with dementia and their carers. It brings all the production qualities, humour, warmth and love of our renowned touring productions right into the heart of the care community.