Chichester Festival Theatre working together with Dementia Support to improve wellbeing of people living with dementia

Chichester Festival Theatre working together with Dementia Support to improve wellbeing of people living with dementia
Local charity, Dementia Support, is enjoying a partnership with the Chichester Festival Theatre to provide free wellbeing sessions for people living with dementia.

The Theatre has been running two types of sessions since early February at the Dementia Support Hub in Tangmere – Mindful Movements and Creative Responses.

The Mindful Movements sessions explore the positive benefits of dance on physicality and wellbeing. The workshops are led by an experienced dance and movement specialist, who guides the participants through ‘chair dancing’; the sessions are designed to allow participants to move as little or as much as they feel inclined.

One participant said, “I was cautious at first about the movement aspect of the session, but the teacher was very good at guiding us through some gentle exercises. It was also nice to meet other people with dementia and their carers, and share our experiences over tea and cake at the end.”

The Creative Responses workshops involve reminiscence and evoking memories in people with dementia. Everyone has a story to tell, they simply might not know it yet. Using theatre props, pictures, film and memorabilia, a practitioner from the Theatre uses simple practical drama exercises to share tales and create new ones together in a relaxed creative atmosphere.

For one session the group looked at old photos and pictures of Chichester Festival Theatre and the city, wrote down their thoughts and memories and created poems from these reminiscences. The results were very creative and interesting for the group of people living with dementia as it aided their recollections of Chichester, the Theatre and personal local history.

Dementia Support is a charity based in Tangmere, near Chichester; the charity is currently running pilot sessions and activities for people living with dementia, such as the Chichester Festival Theatre sessions, art sessions, clay workshops with the University of Chichester, wellbeing with Alive! Activities and socialising Tea at Tangmere.

Next Dates; 15th, 22nd and 29th of March at 10.30am – 11.30am free – including refreshments

The charity is fundraising in order to renovate the building it currently occupies, and open it fully as a Dementia Support Hub with dementia services under one roof for people in West Sussex. The Hub will be a bespoke, modern and functional community centre, where people can access the most up to date support, information and advice. There will be: Dementia Information & Advice, Memory Assessment, Community Café, Social Activities, Young Onset Dementia Services, Day Care and Innovative Dementia Technology.

The charity is running a fundraising appeal to raise £1.74 million so the Hub and all the services can be open in December 2017.
If you are interested in attending these sessions please call: 01243 888691; or email