Successful Dementia-Friendly services at Wolverhampton Grand to increase in 2020

Today, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has announced plans to extend services for those living with, and affected by, dementia in the local community and surrounding areas.

The venue has been providing entertainment specifically for people living with dementia and their carers at monthly dementia-friendly Memory Cafes for the last 12 months. The cafe programme has been led by Grand Theatre pantomime favourites Ian Adams and Julie Paton, who perform medleys of songs from across all eras and genres.

This has been incredibly well received throughout 2019 and, as a response, the theatre will be increasing provision throughout 2020 including the first dementia-friendly performance in the West Midlands, which will be the 2:30pm performance of Million Dollar Quartet on Thursday 2 July. Vicky Price, Associate Director, Development and Communications at the Grand Theatre said:

“The dementia programme started with one Memory Café a month, which due to popularity extended to two a month very soon after launch. I am delighted that we will now provide three a month and continue to produce the Viva Variety touring show that visits local care homes to reach those who are unable to attend at the theatre.”

For the second year running, FBC Manby Bowdler will be the headline sponsor of the programme. Dementia Friends Champion and FBCMB Partner Michelle Monnes-Thomas said:

“More than 3,000 people in the City of Wolverhampton are living with dementia and we've been delighted by the response to the Memory Cafes we support at the theatre.

"These events are really important in bringing people from the community together; somewhere they can reminisce and enjoy time together at the theatre. The opportunity to be involved for a second year is very exciting as we develop the programme from the theatre’s Encore Lounge and are able to include performances in the main auditorium too.”

In an exciting development for the programme, three additional sponsors will also be supporting the work. Amongst their many charitable aims, The Steve Bull Foundation and Paycare are committed to enriching the lives of people affected by dementia and have come forward to support having seen how many people have benefited from the service this year.

The Friends of the Grand support many theatre initiatives and have been particularly enthralled by the programme. Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre, Adrian Jackson, said:

“I wish to thank all of the staff and supporters who have embraced this scheme wholeheartedly. We aim to reach everyone in the community through the magic of theatre I am delighted that through recent developments we will continue to make the theatre as accessible as possible.”

For more information on accessible services at the Grand Theatre, please contact Access and Operations Manager, Remy Lloyd, by email or by calling 01902 57 33 20.


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