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How can the creative arts help people living with dementia?

How can the creative arts help people living with dementia?

by Marty Jacobs -
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The School of Health and Social Care is currently exploring how the creative arts might improve the lives of people living with dementia. As part of this work, the School is running two unique events this November. Both events are free to attend and open to all students and staff at the University. This activity is part of a larger project to make the University a more dementia friendly organisation. For more information, please contact Dr Mary Kennedy (email

The two events have been jointly funded by the School and One Colchester. One Colchester is a multi-agency partnership that aims to break down operational barriers to social change in the Colchester area. It is hoped that this work will help build stronger, more resilient communities.

Grandma Remember Me? by AZ2B Theatre Company

A free performance of this play will take place at the Lakeside Theatre (Colchester Campus) on the Monday 4th November. Grandma Remember Me? is a beautiful story told through a mixture of puppetry, drama and storytelling. This performance will be of particular interest to anyone affected by dementia, our students studying drama/theatre, as well as any of the health and social care students at Essex.

The performance will begin at 11am and finish at approx. 12.20pm. Following the performance, there will also be a short Q&A session with the cast and crew. Tickets are free, but you must register your attendance via Eventbrite:

The Creative Arts and Dementia Workshop

A complimentary workshop will follow the morning performance of Grandma remember Me? This event will help you explore the value of the creative arts when working with people who live with dementia. You will have the opportunity to work with one of six professional artists:

  • Hannah Brailsford - Hannah is a professional storyteller based in Colchester. She has a passion to engage and inspire communities with stories.
  • Angela Cass - Angela is the Weird Weaver! She makes handwoven freestyle items on a Japanese Saori loom.
  • Angela Dennis - Angela is a Natural Voice Practitioner based in Colchester. She has worked for the Alzheimer's Society (Singing for the Brain lead) for North East Essex for the past 4 years.
  • Petra McQueen - Petra is a professional writer and founder of The Writers' Company.
  • Sara Waymont - Sara is an ISAF Accredited War Artist (Afghanistan 2014) and former RAF Reservist.
  • Gemma Wright - Gemma is the Artistic Director of the Dance Network Association, which offers dance participation and education to local communities in Essex (and its neighbouring counties).

Places on the workshop are limited. Everyone is welcome to attend. No existing artistic talent is required! If you'd like to participate, please book a ticket via Eventbrite: