Ludlow Assembly Rooms

Ludlow Assembly Rooms is an arts, entertainment and cinema venue with a vision to be a leading rural arts, entertainment and community centre, renowned for its diverse and stimulating programme, friendly atmosphere and accessibility to all.

Updated:
6 April 2017
Location:
West Midlands
Sectors:
Arts, Recreation
Local Alliances:
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin 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?

Our organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers involves working on both a national and local level.

Working as part of the UK wide project, A Life More Ordinary, we will be one of a current few venues nationally to offer ‘dementia-friendly’ cinema screenings. Working with national organisations at a local level for advice and support to deliver the screenings, we also maintain close contact with The Dukes theatre in Lancaster who manage A Life More Ordinary (on behalf of the British Film Institute) and agree to attend a conference in 2018 passing on examples of good practice to other arts organisations.

On a local level we work with support groups and networks to help influence our programming and this includes a steering group consisting of a mix of carers and people living with dementia to give feedback and suggestions on ways we can continually improve the cinema going experience for them as well as what films they would like to see. We will encourage families and friends to come along aiding the sustainability of relationships with those living with dementia, make subtle physical and technical adaptations to the building and screening environment and offer a supportive, understanding community to enjoy film.

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

The challenges we may have delivering the outcomes could include staff and visitor understanding of dementia. We may also struggle to reach people living with dementia who may not have their own support network, live rurally where transport is an obstacle or who for whatever reason cannot access ways to attend the screenings. Some visitors may struggle to understand or accept the small changes in the cinema environment – for example, low lighting levels and slightly lower volume levels. Another obstacle could be where people living with dementia may not identify themselves within this capacity.

Other challenges will include making sure that the building is ‘dementia-friendly’ to ensure that visitors have a smooth and fun experience. We will also need to maintain relationships with any steering groups, support networks, organisations, etc. and to keep them updated with the project and make everybody feel involved and included. Sustaining the screenings after our first six will heavily rely on the relationships we establish at the beginning of the project.

2. Actions

  • Making all staff and volunteers dementia aware and/or Dementia Friends

    It’s important that we can offer a supportive and understanding service from first contact through to the event itself and on to feedback. This is important for those living with dementia along with their carers and family and friends and also important for our staff.

    We will try to encourage our staff to become dementia aware, with a senior member of staff becoming a Dementia Friends Champion so that staff can access dementia awareness information sessions conveniently, with the potential for encouraging people in Ludlow to attend public information sessions.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    A member of staff is now a Dementia Friends Champion and we are still working on our aim for members of staff to become Dementia Friends.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Supporting those who may struggle to attend the film screenings

    Should we become aware that somebody is unable to attend a screening, despite wanting to, because of an issue such as transport or because they have nobody to go with them we will try to support that person as best we can. This may involve seeking out ‘buddy’-type services from organisations, engaging with existing groups to see if they can help a person who is isolated, offering financial assistance when and if we can to help community transport schemes and making people aware of ways that they can travel to and from the Ludlow Assembly Rooms.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have not yet encountered this issue. However, we have options and contacts to access community transport in nearby Tenbury Wells should people need it. A lot of people come in groups and support each other.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Growing our audience with a mix of people living with dementia, their carers and families and people with varying levels of experience of dementia

    We will endeavour to promote the screenings in as many places as possible including doctors surgeries, churches, memory clinics, support groups as well as cafes and shops, etc. By continually improving the screenings and making them the best that we possibly can by providing a fun, understanding, welcoming and supportive environment, hopefully word-of-mouth will spread and our audience will increase. We want to make sure that the screenings are an inclusive experience and to make it clear that everybody is welcome. 

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have an established loyal audience who come together and we have had people from all different background and from different areas of the West Midlands visit. We have also had younger people with additional needs come to the screenings. We are now experimenting with films that may be attractive to a multi-generational audience - for example The Jungle Book animated film.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Managing audience and visitor expectations

    We may encounter a lack of understanding as to why some technical changes have been implemented – for example the lower sound levels or lighting levels. On all of the marketing materials we have made clear that these elements will be implemented for these specific screenings and there will also be an introduction to the film briefly explaining this to the audience.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Audiences seem to be well aware of the event they are attending so we will maintain the introduction and also the wording on marketing materials.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Making the venue 'dementia friendly'

    The venue will undergo changes in order to make it dementia-friendly. We aim to do this with the help and advice of professionals, namely the regional coordinator for the Dementia Action Alliance. We will also utilise any actions carried out by The Dukes in Lancaster that have been successful, for example clearer, potentially temporary, signage that we can put up and put down – though attempts will be made to successfully action the signage so that it can stay up permanently with a view to our venue being dementia friendly nearly all the time in the future.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We had the regional officer for the DAA come and visit to advise on any changes we could make to the building. We implemented temporary clear signage which is put up before every screening. We also took care to make sure we had cups for hot drinks that were of a thicker paper and we double cup them. They also have lids and we have straws readily available. We also take out seats to make more space between stage and seats should anybody choose to sit at the front.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member

  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with organisations and audiences

    An engagement coordinator will do groundwork to build networks and relationships with local and regional organisations and groups. This will lead on to meeting potential audiences and building relationships with them also. The contact must be maintained which can be done face-to-face by the coordinator occasionally visiting the groups and also maintaining contact by email, keeping contacts updated with the project.

    When screenings are on, being personable and recognising visitors and remembering names will be a great way to build on the welcoming and supportive environment we want to have. Requesting feedback and setting up a steering group for suggestions to inform us of ways to improve the screenings and for future programming will be really important to maintain relationships and keep audiences returning.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    A good relationship has been established between Ludlow Assembly Rooms and the DAA, Alzheimer's Society support groups in the area, further support groups, networks and individuals in the area.

    2016 - Fourth Quarter Update

    New member