£100,000 award for Leeds theatre’s dementia projects

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A leeds theatre has been given an £103,000 funding boost to increase its activities for people with dementia.

West Yorkshire Playhouse has received the award from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to fund Our Time: Creativity And Support For People Living With Dementia.

The three-year project will involve the development of a programme of arts schemes for those with dementia and their families, addressing issues including loneliness and isolation, and building support networks.

James Brining, artistic director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, said: “The Playhouse has a commitment to providing access to our theatre and creating enriching experiences for communities across Leeds.

“We’re proud to receive this funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to expand these creative opportunities and to work alongside individuals and groups in our city so that we become a key hub for people living with dementia and their families.”

The new scheme will expand on current projects at the theatre, which include the Heydays programme of weekly creative sessions, and other initiatives including Dementia Friends training for staff and a Dementia Friendly performance of White Christmas in December.

Nicky Taylor, who leads the work, said: “As evident through current sessions, engaging with the arts stimulates creativity and communication and increases feelings of motivation, confidence and self-worth.”

Dorothée Irving, from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, added: “We are delighted to support the West Yorkshire Playhouse with a three-year grant for Our Time. With its excellent track record in arts engagement, the organisation is well placed to successfully develop the best ways to enable older people living with dementia and their partners to access and participate in the arts.”

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