Wellbeing sessions launched with the help of Chichester Festival Theatre

Mindful Movements sessions explore the positive benefits of dance on physicality and wellbeing
Mindful Movements sessions explore the positive benefits of dance on physicality and wellbeing

Dementia Support is enjoying a partnership with Chichester Festival Theatre to provide wellbeing sessions for people living with dementia.

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

Creative Responses workshops involve reminiscence and evoking memories in people with dementia

Creative Responses workshops involve reminiscence and evoking memories in people with dementia

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 people through chair dancing. These 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 evoking memories in people with dementia and reminiscence.

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.It 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.

The charity is fundraising in order to renovate the building it currently occupies, in order to 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 and advice, memory assessment, a community café, social activities, young onset dementia services, day care and innovative dementia technology.

Dementia Support, based at Salisbury House, City Fields Way, Tangmere, was started by a group of people who had been personally touched by dementia.

The aim is to work alongside existing organisations to bring together and enrich their offering and the services they provide and to ultimately provide exceptional dementia care in Chichester, Bognor Regis, Selsey and The Witterings to the south, Emsworth up to Midhurst in the west, Petworth and bordering along the River Arun down to the east of Littlehampton.

The charity’s goal is to develop a definitive model in continuing care for people with dementia as well as provide full support for families and carers.

Dementia Support is running a fundraising appeal to raise £1.74million so the Hub and all the services can be open in December 2017.

The charity’s vision is a society where dementia is wholly understood and accepted, enabling people living with dementia to be fully supported throughout the whole of their journey.

The Dementia Support Hub intends to serve as a base for dementia organisations, enabling all service providers to work together from one location, thus

allowing excellent multi-agency team work, networking, communication, reduced duplication of services as well as having quick and easy referrals to each other.

The charity’s mission is to:-

Provide a centre of excellence to support people living with dementia

Consolidate dementia services in the area into one location

Be an integral part of the community

Be a local charity for local people, supported, managed and funded by local people

Offer training and education and become a beacon for best practice in the provision of dementia services

Dementia currently affects an estimated 850,000 people in the UK, yet it is one of the most misunderstood and taboo illnesses affecting our population.

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. The umbrella term is used to describe a collection of symptoms associated with a progressive decline in cognitive function, largely among older people.

For those interested in attending the Chichester Festival Theatre sessions, please call 01243 784437.

For those interested in supporting the Dementia Support fundraising appeal, please contact 01243 888691 or email info@dementia-support.org.uk

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 – Make our website your homepage

2 – Like our Facebook pages

3 – Follow us on Twitter

4 – Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

The Observer – always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.