Dancing and singing down memory lane at Hackney’s first Dementia Festival

Hackney will host its first ever Dementia Arts Festival from Monday 21 to Friday 25 May – a week of mostly free events and activities for people with dementia and their families, carers and friends to enjoy, whilst reliving memories through games, dancing and singing. 

The festival will include workshops where residents can explore their memories and emotions in a memory bank workshop with postgraduate art student Pauline.

People signing up to the festival can enjoy lots of free events and activities including a tea dance on Monday 21 May at Shoreditch Town Hall to launch the Dementia Festival, board games, sports, walks, swimming, a classic matinee, singing and art exhibitions.

The festival takes place during Dementia Action Week to raise awareness and support and make change happen for people affected by dementia. Earlier this year, councillors voted to continue working towards making Hackney a dementia friendly borough, continuing its work to support the Hackney Dementia Action Alliance group (HDAA). 

Sandra Cater, Dementia Friendly Community Coordinator in Hackney, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have gained the support of so many partner organisations in Hackney to hold our first ever Dementia festival. There will be something for everyone and all of the events and activities have been especially designed for people with dementia in mind. It is really important that people with dementia feel included and involved in their community.”

The Dementia Festival is part of the ongoing work to make Hackney a dementia friendly borough. Around 1,300 people in Hackney are living with dementia, and with an increasing and ageing population in the borough, the rate of dementia will increase along with demand for local dementia-friendly services.

Hackney Dementia Festival includes dementia friendly film screenings to help people to reconnect with their memories and other people. Partner organisations holding events include St Joseph’s Hospice, GLL leisure services, Alzheimer’s Society, Rio Cinema, Hackney Picturehouse, Shoreditch Town Hall, St Mary’s Secret Garden, Hackney Archives, Hackney Libraries and Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust.

For more information go to hackney.gov.uk/dementia-festival or contact Sandra Cater on 020 8533 0091 / sandra.cater@alzheimers.org.uk

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