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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Trust cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites - the five preserved homes and gardens directly linked to Shakespeare and his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. We hold the world’s largest Shakespeare-related library, museum and archives open to the public, with over 1 million documents, 55,000 books and 12,000 museum objects and we run ongoing learning and community events to provide visitors an opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s life, work and times.

5 September 2017
West Midlands
Arts, Charity
Local Alliances:
Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Due to our location as well as the number of visitors exploring our properties, we are always looking to improve the visitor experience at our sites.

In an ever growing aging population, we aim to provide a warm and welcoming experience where staff and volunteers feel that they have the correct knowledge to assist visitors with any needs they have.

At the Trust, we are also planning to be a member of the Safe Places scheme where we will be considered a safe site for any vulnerable person wanting to find support in a vastly busy and touristic area. As part of our New Place project, our aims are to open the site as the first SBT property which is fully accessible to not only the physically disabled, but also accessible to visitors with additional needs or other disabilities.

We have created Memory Boxes where visitors can engage with items from the past and fully immerse themselves in their environment – we used these during Disabled Access Day 2016 and they were a huge success.

We feel that it is important for us to use Shakespeare’s life, times and works as inspiration for our sessions and resources as his words and plays have affected so many people through so many generations. Almost everyone will have a favourite quotation or sonnet and we feel that by evoking these past memories of learning about Shakespeare, we can create wonderful reminiscence sessions to help visitors connect with the most famous playwright in the world.

To engage with our hyperlocal community is a priority for us. We wish to retain their relationship to ensure that we are continually developing relevant and inspiring events which will appeal to this demographic.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

For the SBT, we are always looking for ways in which we can work with the local communities. In order to ensure a high quality of sessions and workshops, we would need to have resources and events which are sustainable. Also a key challenge would be to ensure that there is staff capacity to run and evaluate these sessions and to continually extend the relationship with the local communities.

2. Actions

  • Provide all staff and volunteers with the opportunity to become a Dementia Friend

    Regularly schedule Dementia Friends sessions which can be delivered by our three trained Dementia Champions. To ensure that the sessions can be available to all members of staff and volunteers – for example early morning or evening sessions for our customer facing team members.

    We have previously run these Dementia Friends session as part of a wider ‘Welcome for All’ training programme where we explore ways in which our staff and volunteers are able to engage visitors with Dementia, SEN or those who need additional support.

    Being implemented

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Over 60 staff and volunteers have attended one our Dementia Friend Sessions. 

    Our next sessions are going to be run in October 2017 which will be available to all staff and volunteers. 

    Feddback has been really positive from our teams. 

  • Audit of our properties

    We have an HR Access Intern who will be looking at the facilities and resources we have available to visitors. They will be evaluating these resources including our new Quiet Area recently installed at our rejuvenated property New Place and the memory boxes which provided a popular activity as part of Disabled Access Day 2016.

    Our HR Access Intern will also be collaborating with our volunteers who were recruited to support with the SEN and Dementia projects across our properties.

    At the Trust we also have an Access Panel where a group of staff, volunteers and external consultants meet to discuss possible avenues of improvements to our facilities as well as provide advice on key initiatives to ensure that our activities are available to all. 


    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Our Intern created some fantastic tools for us. 

    We will be implementing some of the feedback which we collated from local care homes about our sites. 

  • New Place resources

    We will be looking at our new Quiet Area at one of our properties to see if we are able to create a Quiet Area across more of our sites. Staff and volunteers will monitor this to see if visitors with dementia have found it a useful addition when exploring New Place.

    At New Place we will also introduce Blue Assist – a way of communicating through an app or on individual cards. Again, we will see if this system can be rolled out across more of our properties to ensure that all visitors are empowered to ask questions to any of our staff members.

    We will also be organising a ‘Dementia Road Test’ where we are looking to invite the local residents and their carers to come along to the property and see how it can be improved from their point of view.


    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    We have implemented BlueAssist at New Place and we are looking to install this resource across our other sites.