Scottish Ballet has been awarded £150,000 by the Life Changes Trust to enable them to become dementia friendly. They will use the funding to set up a programme of dementia friendly dance based activities for people living with dementia, their carers and families across Scotland, and raise awareness about the condition.
Central to the programme will be weekly dementia friendly intergenerational dance classes, designed to be fun, accessible and inclusive. People with dementia and carers who participate in these classes will also be invited to attend performances, visit rehearsals and meet the dancers themselves.
Activities will take place in Glasgow, where Scottish Ballet is based, in dance studio space donated by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They will also take activities to cities where they tour, such as Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
Dance professionals and Scottish Ballet staff will also be given dementia-specific training, so that further activities can be offered to those who are unable to participate fully in the programme, such as those living in care homes.
The project builds on Scottish Ballet’s successful ‘Dance for Parkinson’s Scotland’ project.
The funding is part of a second phase of Dementia Friendly Communities investment from Scottish charity, the Life Changes Trust. The Trust invested £3 million in 14 dementia friendly communities in 2015, the success of which has led to a further investment of £2 million.
Dementia Friendly Communities are places where people affected by dementia, including carers and family members, are included and supported to do the things that matter to them. They also help empower those whose lives are affected by dementia so that they remain integrated in society, live as independently as possible and participate actively in decisions that affect their lives.