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 25,000 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 has resulted in major two year Arts Council England funding to spread our work more widely across the UK.
Our belief in the power of the arts to benefit health and well-being, particularly amongst people living with dementia and their carers, is supported by a wealth of current research showing the many positive effects that arts engagement has on those receiving care; such as 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.
As a theatre company, 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.
From 2017, with funding from Arts Council England, we are expanding our work; supporting care homes, communities and organisations to become dementia friendly places, made up of dementia-skilled and dementia-aware people.
What we offer
We offer performances for people living with dementia, and workshops and training performances for staff, carers, and families.
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 enjoy themselves and gain a deeper understanding of those in their care. Family members discover and share interests sometimes lost through dementia: they are also a great way for younger people to connect with their own grandparents and others in a creative and caring 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.