Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK’s flagship theatres with an international reputation for producing work of the highest quality, ranging from large-scale musicals to distinguished dramas. The refurbished Festival Theatre reopened in 2014, following the completion of a major project to restore and upgrade its Grade II* listed building. With a transformed auditorium, increased seating capacity, more spacious foyer areas with new cafés, bars and outdoor terraces, as well as improved and expanded artist facilities, Chichester Festival Theatre has proudly matched its world-class artistic reputation with world-class spaces. Alongside its productions, CFT has a much-valued programme of learning and participation work. It has built and strengthened connections within the community through an award winning Youth Theatre programme, classes in writing, dance, and drama for a variety of ages, bespoke community and outreach projects and Heritage activities to document its rich history.
- 13 May 2019
- South East
- Arts, Charity, Children Young People and Students, Education Sector, Hospitality, Recreation, Schools, Voluntary
- Local Alliances:
- Chichester Dementia Action Alliance, Selsey 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?
With a population of 114,000 people in the Chichester area, approximately 25,000 are 65 and over. The Alzheimer’s society’s statistics state that approximately one in 20 people over the age of 65 have dementia. As a cultural organisation, it is our responsibility to ensure that everyone who wishes to has the opportunity to engage in arts activity, and as such we must consider people living with dementia and their carers.
CFT is a founding member of Chichester Cultural Learning Partnership (CCLP) formed of six organisations in and around the Chichester District, all of whom are committed to delivering dementia-friendly cultural activities.
Following two successful years of delivering the Living Well with Dementia Festival, the organisations in CCLP are aiming to provide a year-round programme of dementia-friendly events and activities to ensure that people living with dementia have a sense of belonging, of being a valued part of community, and can attend arts engagement activity that is designed around their needs.
The work that CFT’s Learning, Education and Participation department deliver aims to excite and inspire every person that engages with us.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The challenges that we face in delivering our activity are:
Sourcing funding to continue and expand our dementia-friendly activity Space for our activities to take place – We have on-site rehearsal and activity space, but this is shared between all the needs of the theatre (inc. rehearsals for productions, training events, other outreach events organised by the LEAP department) Ensuring that all staff members have a full understanding of the needs of patrons with dementia – There is a high turnover of staff in our public facing
Delivering weekly Dementia-Friendly arts engagement sessions
Since 2015, CFT have delivered Mind, Body, Sing!, dementia-friendly singing workshops, throughout the year. These are well attended and have become a core part of our regular activity.
We have recently been in discussion with the Dementia Hub in Tangmere and are due to pilot two new weekly arts engagement activities in 2017 for people living with dementia and their carers.
Running Dementia Friends Sessions at CFT for all members of staff
All current members of the Box Office and Front of House staff have attended a Dementia Friends information session. Recently our in-house Dementia Champion led a session for CFT’s senior managers, which included the artistic and executive directors. A commitment has been made to ensure that every member of staff at CFT attends a session during 2017.
Exploring arts engagement for people with advanced dementia in care homes
CFT’s current dementia-friendly activity is predominantly accessed by people in the early stages of dementia. Following the completion of a highly successful week-long residency from leading participatory theatre company Spare Tyre in November 2016, CFT is keen to reflect on the skills and knowledge gained and develop a new strand of dementia-friendly arts activity, specifically targeting those in the advanced stages of dementia.