A new festival is being launched in Chichester to encourage people living with dementia to take part in the arts with family and friends.
The Living with Dementia Festival will be held in and around the city from 13 April to 7 June. It has been organised by the Chichester Cultural Learning Partnership (CCLP), which was established in 2014 to offer a range of local arts events including those that help dispel the isolation felt by many living with dementia.
Events being held during the festival will include craft workshops, interactive history sessions and a tea dance, reflecting the variety of arts activities that can be enjoyed throughout the city.
Chichester Festival Theatre is taking part with Mind, Body, Sing! classes, which are open to everyone with no auditions or music reading experience required. There will also be a ‘dementia-friendly’ guided festival theatre tour.
Luna Russell, community and education manager at Chichester Festival Theatre, and member of the CCLP, said: “Engaging with local people through our arts events and activities is already very important to the theatre and everyone involved in the partnership.
“Anything that enables people living with dementia to feel part of our community makes a really positive difference. We hope that lots of people will take part in the festival, and that it will be an enjoyable, inclusive experience for everyone.”
Elaine Thomas, community wellbeing manager at Chichester District Council, said: “There is a growing awareness of the huge impact of living with dementia. The arts have a really positive role to play in removing barriers and increasing awareness and Chichester in Partnership are proud to support this Festival, which is one of the first of its kind in the country.”
The Festival has been part-funded by Chichester in Partnership. Dementia awareness training for the organisations taking part has been provided by the Alzheimer’s Society.
Mind, Body, Sing! classes run from April 17 to June 5 at St Paul’s Church. Tickets are £3 per person including refreshments. The guided tour is on May 14 and tickets are £5 per person, carers are free.
All tickets must be booked in advance, either online at cft.org.uk/dementiafestival or through the Box Office on 01243 781312.