New festival in Chichester for people living with dementia

Mind, body and sing fun at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Richard Gibbons
Mind, body and sing fun at Chichester Festival Theatre. Picture by Richard Gibbons

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 April to 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.

The group identified the need to dispel the isolation that people living with dementia might experience, and extend the opportunities for them to enjoy new and existing activities.

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 which will be modified as necessary.

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.”

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 free.

All tickets must be booked in advance, either online at cft.org.uk/dementiafestival or through the Box Office on 01243 781312.