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Norfolk & Norwich Festival Trust

Norfolk & Norwich Festival is the flagship arts festival for the East of England with a reputation for innovative and inspirational programming and commissioning. One of the big four UK international arts festivals, each May we transform and celebrate our city and county through an internationally acclaimed programme of music, theatre, literature, visual arts, circus, dance and outdoor arts, enjoyed by over 75,000 people. The organisation has been an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation since April 2012 and is one of 10 Bridge Organisations with a mandate to develop arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the East of England. Norfolk & Norwich Festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and the generous support of other sponsors and donors.

2 February 2017
East of England
Arts, Charity, Community organisations, Education Sector, Local Authorities, Local DAA Members, Recreation, Voluntary, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Norwich City 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?

As a publicly funded arts organisation, we are committed to reaching all members of our county with varied and exciting offers of artistic engagement.  A main focus held by the Festival is to increase access to our offers, including members of the SEN community, disabled people and adults at risk.  We strive to make these offers inclusive and designed around participants’ specific needs, and we desire to ensure control and choice in these matters.  As the arts are so closely tied to health and wellbeing, we try to support opportunities for all people to improve their lives within an environment that promotes a sense of belonging and value, both in an intimate setting and more largely in a civic context.  We know that no single programme is one hundred percent prescriptive for all people, and we listen to our community and research to help the creation of bespoke settings to foster creativity and expression. We believe every member of the community is valuable and deserves to have access to the arts, and strive to be the artistic ambassador for the people of Norfolk.


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

Our organisation is always looking to reach more members of our large community, and look to committed individuals within our staff to deliver ideas and training and promote greater awareness and understanding of dementia.  While each member of our organisation may not come into contact with children, young people or adults at risk, we try to keep all staff up to date on policies, changes and plans of action.  It might be a challenge at first to engage all staff with the necessity of this training, but we feel it is vital to create an environment that can suit people from all walks of life.

We have a new partner in The Marion Road Centre, part of Age UK Norwich, and have begun to form a relationship of trust and safety with them.  We endeavour to reach many more groups of adults living with dementia, and learn new ways to connect with them and build programming to match their needs.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Create a series of workshops specifically designed around the needs of people living with dementia.

    The Participation & Engagement Manager will develop and deliver a series of artistic workshops suited to support and empower members of the Norfolk community living with dementia.


  • Create Dementia Friendly environment within our large festival setting

    Work with the Administrator of Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios (NNOS) to assess the NNOS Central Taster Exhibition event and how it can function in a more inclusive fashion.

    Offer an optional dementia awareness session to all participating NNOS artists. This could help those artists who invigilate during the Central Taster exhibition to be more dementia friendly  when working with the public, as well as when they open their studios.


    Initial Scoping
  • Ensure our paid staff and volunteers are trained to be Dementia friendly

    We will deliver dementia awareness sessions to all our paid staff and volunteers, lead by NNF permanent staff who have trained as Dementia Friends Champions.  Staff and volunteers will be encouraged to sign up to become Dementia Friends.  In addition, staff will be trained on specific troubleshooting and scenarios to better accommodate a sense of inclusion and safety for our outfacing community events.  We will train our large community volunteer contingent ensuring best practices are clearly presented while also dispelling any concerns and building a sense of confidence to step in and get involved.