This month marks the beginning of our Arts for Dementia programme here at The Old Courts and we can't wait for it to begin!

Speaking about the creation of the programme, Artistic Director Jonathan Davenport said:

"We held a consultation evening a short while back to gather as much information as we could. The general consensus was that aside from specific elements we need to have in place to cater for dementia itself, people living with Dementia can have the same wishes as they did prior to having the illness. They still appreciate variety and we are all different so we collaboratively picked films that are considered classics and that are of a certain era we feel will resonate with the largest number of attendees. The most important thing is that the environment we create feels welcoming, safe and enjoyable to our guests. This will be achieved with many tweaks to things such as signage, lighting and uniforms but in addition, we currently have a number of staff on training courses to learn about dementia and how we as a venue can alleviate some of the common barriers and anxieties guests might experience."

Here's a summary of the programme: In addition to the Dementia Friendly Film Screenings, we have a series of Dementia Friendly Drawing Classes with Cross Street Arts Artist Anna FC Smith (@annafcsmith). We definitely don't want to stop there though - Jonathan added:

"We do have further plans in place to develop the initial offering from drawing classes and film screenings as we want to include as many art forms as we can. It’s really important to us that we offer everything to everyone. This isn’t easy though and requires funding to cover some of the initial set up costs but we’re determined to make it happen." The programme has been created in Partnership with Wigan Council and their Dementia Friendly Community Fund.

Deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for adult social care, Councillor Keith Cunliffe said: “Ensuring people living with dementia are able to live full, engaging and enjoyable lives is an ambition that we share with dementia charities and our health partners. Working together with the wider community in line with The Deal is key to connecting people living with dementia, their families and carers."

“It’s great that The Old Courts is on board with this initiative and we look forward to them delivering inclusive activities for residents living with dementia. “This work has been made possible thanks to our Dementia Friendly Community Fund, which supports creating an age-friendly environment that will make Wigan Borough a better place for people to grow old.”

You can find out more about the individual events: