This March sees the end of our two-year, Arts Council England-funded, Strategic Touring Project, which has enabled us to make real inroads in engaging people living with dementia, and their carers, with theatre.
On February 28th, we’re holding our final Knowledge Sharing Day, when we come together with our venue partners, people living with dementia and their supporters who have been involved in the project, to celebrate all its achievements.
Taking place at Vamos Theatre’s base at Worcester Arts Workshop, the day will be about sharing the positive actions that have already taken place and the legacy for the future. Many venues involved in the project have put real efforts into making their theatres more welcoming for people living with dementia, including training staff to be dementia aware, improving signage and promoting their venue as a welcoming place for all.
As part of the project, Vamos Theatre has been able to invest directly in developing performances for people living with dementia and touring directly to care homes. We’ve also taken our workshop Listening with your Eyes across the country, helping carers, health staff and others hone skills of empathy, insight, listening and trust-building.
The project has been guided by our Health Connector, Hazel Ratcliffe, whose hard work has helped us to make some strong and lasting connections with individuals and organisations in the health and care sectors and beyond.
We’ll be celebrating the many achievements of our venue partners, including the start of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s weekly Dementia Café, Coventry Belgrade’s Dementia Inclusive Community and the ongoing sessions run by The Seagull Theatre in Suffolk for people living with dementia, their families and carers – to name a few.
Hazel Ratcliffe said of the Knowledge Sharing Day, “This will be a great opportunity to reflect, celebrate and inspire partners old and new to continue to build on the legacy that has already been created by this wonderful project. There will be plenty of sharing, and show and tell, through a mixed medium of discussion, storytelling, walkabout, music and reflection. We are delighted that Orit Azaz - Independent Artistic Director and Creative Consultant is guiding us through this interactive day."
We look forward to welcoming all our venue partners on February 28th. To find out more about our Strategic Touring Project, visit our STP page