The Life Changes Trust, established in 2013 with a Lottery endowment to support improvements in the quality of life and inclusion of people affected by dementia and young people with experience of being in care, has renewed its funding to support dementia friendly communities at the Festival and King’s Theatres in Edinburgh.
The Festival City Theatres Trust, that runs the prestigious Edinburgh theatres, was initially awarded £320,000 in 2015 to help create dementia friendly venues so that people with dementia and those who care for them can continue to enjoy participating in the arts.
The three-year funding provided for extensive audits of the buildings to help make them more accessible and more welcoming for people with dementia, to programme shows and events specifically for those affected by dementia including presenting the UK’s first dementia friendly opera, and to adapt existing theatre programmes to be more dementia friendly.
The success of the Festival City Theatres Trust in implementing such positive programmes has been acknowledged by the Life Changes Trust awarding an additional £61,740 over the next two financial years.
Paul Hudson, Coordinator of Dementia Friendly Projects at the Festival and King’s Theatres says, “The initial funding from Life Changes Trust really was life-changing for theatre-goers living with dementia in and around Edinburgh. With its support, we have been able to create some amazing projects that have transformed lives and made our theatres more accessible, more inclusive and more exciting places to be. Our thanks to the Life Changes Trust for this continuation of their funding and we look forward to taking the next steps in supporting dementia friendly communities at the heart of our theatres.”