'Remember Me' by The Courtyard Theatre
At the end of May 2013 The Courtyard held its Remember Me Event during Dementia Awareness Week for the second year running. The day was aimed at those living with dementia and their carers and The Courtyard provided a varied programme of activities that people were able to get involved in. The day kicked off with an Alzheimer’s Society ‘Singing for the Brain’ taster session. Alongside all the information and advice stands which included organisations such as DM HOP, The Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK, the live drawing event took place. This attracted people of all ages and abilities and went on all day, a fantastic mural was created which was made up of drawings from many individuals who attended. The day offered a platform for people living with dementia to get involved in many aspects of what The Courtyard provides as a community venue. Carers where able to share experiences and ideas, as well as professionals and volunteers coming together to network and offer information and advice.
As well a providing a great day out, we also wanted to raise awareness about Dementia to our general public. The event took over the whole venue for the day, with the drawing and singing taking place in the main foyer, to encourage The Courtyard’s general public to see what was going on and get involved. So many people commented on how much this day had meant to them, and it was evident from the buzzing atmosphere that everybody was having a great day.
A large number of our front of house staff and stewards recently received Dementia Awareness Training, through the Dementia Friends programme and this day was made a success from the way they welcomed and supported everybody in the venue.
Alongside this event which will now become an annual activity, The Courtyard have a highly successful project called ‘In the Pink’ A poetry project which has allowed, practitioners, volunteers and health care professionals the opportunity to learn a unique process of using poetry as a means of communication for people living with dementia. This successful project has engaged hundreds of people within Herefordshire living with dementia. The project has provided a voice for all who have taken part, and has allowed ideas, like dislikes and opinions to be showcased in the public domain.
As a result of attending local memory cafes and talking to people about what activities they were keen for The Courtyard to develop, it was felt there was a need to develop activities that people with dementia and their carers could take part in together on a level playing field. Therefore The Courtyard set up a project called ‘Find your Feet’ which provides gentle movement to music for people with dementia and their carers, these weekly classes provides a safe and friendly atmosphere, for people to come together and have some good fun.
We are already planning next years event, which will showcase a special performance form The Courtyards Senior Youth Theatre.