Capital Theatre's initial funding award was for £320,000 to run from April 2015 to March 2018, and they were awarded a further £62,000 for the period of April 2018 to March 2020. In April 2017, the William Grant Foundation provided additional funding of £14,985.
The Festival and King’s Theatres wanted to ensure that people with dementia and those who care for them could continue to be part of the theatre-going community, enjoy participating in the arts and mixing with their peers. To that end, they carried out an extensive dementia friendly buildings audit and subsequent adjustments, ran dementia friends awareness sessions for all staff, embarked on creative artists training, and ran an extensive programme of dementia friendly performances and events in both venues and also community settings. The Festival theatre hosted the first dementia friendly version of a major touring musical - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - in October 2016 to enable people with dementia, including some living in care homes as well as the community, to attend a mainstream theatre event in the main auditorium.
The impact of this work has been broad, providing opportunities for people living with dementia and those who care for them to access performing arts as audience members, as well as opportunities to actually participate in performing arts. Training and advocacy have been provided, and Capital Theatres also developed a volunteering programme. The theatres also act as exemplars to other similar venues in creating inclusive dementia friendly venues. During the first three years of funding, there were over 380 events and performances with over 7,830 participations.
Read our Dementia Friendly Communities Reports and Toolkit by searching for them on our publications page.