What is it?
Feel supported, relaxed, and uplifted in our free weekly drama-based session for those living with dementia and their carers.
By using a combination of art, tai chi, music, movement and playful non-pressurised improvisation, natural reminiscence is explored. Our motto is ‘Go with the flow’ and we focus on gentle, creative expression.
Our reminiscence class also includes social time with tea, coffee and sandwiches, and is a great chance to relax, chat and make friends.
Introduction from the Lead Facilitator:
The classes are run by Amy Allen and supported by dedicated volunteers with experience of supporting people living with dementia. Together, they get to know each participant to ensure that everyone feels welcome and valued. Amy is a Dementia Friend. Her granny had dementia, so she has a personal experience with it and has been working with people living with dementia (including carers) since 2016.
Every week there is a different theme, and we begin by drawing or writing to create our mural which gets filled in over the course of the 10 sessions. We then move on to connecting our body to our breath by doing some gentle Tai Chi. This warms us up to engage in some drama improvisation on our theme for the week, which can include music and movement. We play, have fun and accept whatever happens as part of our ‘go with the flow’ motto which was created by one of our participants when she first joined us. We then have some social time with tea, coffee and sandwiches together in the theatre's cafe bar area.
In these sessions, there is never a pressure to remember; it's about exploring, connecting and letting the creativity open up anything that you might feel like expressing in the moment. It is important to note that when we say, 'people living with dementia', we include carers in this. This course is just as important for carers as it is for those who have been diagnosed with dementia.
Brenda and Stephen:
"Brenda and I have been attending the reminiscence group at Park Theatre for over 5 years. On the very first day we were made very welcome.
We enjoyed the various activities then and we have done ever since. Our group facilitator and the several volunteers are all very friendly and helpful and all the participants enjoy their time together."
"I think it’s a lovely and friendly atmosphere, I always feel welcomed here as a volunteer. It keeps me mentally and physically active and I just enjoy the experience. It takes me out of my comfort zone because I’ve never been an actor or done acting apart from at primary school, but I just enjoy doing the activities and Amy is a marvelous person to be with.
I always enjoy the sessions and I don’t worry about coming, I'm learning all the time and I just find it all a wonderful experience."
"We have a place where we can join together. It’s a nice time to rejoin with the community. We dance, we move, we have fun. It’s a good time, we enjoy ourselves. At home we don’t see people but when we come here it’s good. We talk, we have fun, we laugh - it’s good for our lives."
Linda (Danny's daughter and carer):
"It’s really good. There were too many people at home over covid, they need to get out and see people and do activities. Amy is a really fantastic leader.
Dad likes to come out and really enjoys himself. It’s the only real chance for dad to get out and see people. It’s great that he gets to interact and be part of the theatre."
How to get involved
If you’re interested in joining, or know anyone who is, please email our Creative Engagement Manager, Carys Rose Thomas ([email protected]).
Generously supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.
Photos by Alessandra Davision.
Supported by Tara House Nursery, Park Theatre's Creative Engagement Sponsor.