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The Courtyard makes a difference for those with dementia

27 August 2019

Did you know that The Courtyard in Hereford is a Dementia Friendly organisation?  They not only ensure that all of their staff and volunteers are trained Dementia Friends, but they also offer so much more for people living with dementia in Herefordshire.

We were delighted to go along to The Courtyard recently to find out more about what they offer…

Dementia Friends sessions

The Courtyard offer free one hour Dementia Friends information sessions, usually on the second Tuesday of every month.  The friendly and interactive sessions are designed to increase your understanding of dementia and how you can put that knowledge into practice, whether it’s showing patience or using appropriate wording, such as living with dementia and not suffering from dementia.  At the end of the session, you’ll become a Dementia Friend and receive your official badge.

The sessions are open to anyone and you can either book via the box office or just turn up on the day!  You can find further information and forthcoming dates on the Dementia Friends website.

Dementia friendly screenings and activities

The Courtyard also offer dementia friendly film screenings every other month, which are voted for by their visitors.  The screenings, which tend to be of older films, enable people to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit at a table, the lights are dimmed but it’s not dark and the sound’s a little quieter, all of which help to provide a less intimidating experience.

The next screenings are Driving Miss Daisy on Tuesday 3 September and Carousel Herefordshire Life Through a Lens on Tuesday 5 November.

The annual pantomime also offers a dementia friendly version.  There’s more accessible and flexible seating, easier and more visible signage, a quiet room outside the auditorium, if you need some time away from the crowd and they’ll even adapt the script, if necessary.  It’s Cinderella and her ugly sisters this year and you can watch the dementia friendly performance on Wednesday 8 January.

They also have The Courtyard’s Spectacular Tea Dance three times a year, with lots of music, cake and dancing!  The dances are run by an experienced practitioner from Everybody Dance and they’re very relaxed and friendly with no set times, you just come along and join in when you want to.  The next tea dances are on Wednesday 2 October and Tuesday 28 January.

The Courtyard also hold weekly Playing Together sessions for older people and young children.  The lively and creative sessions support participants to communicate through play activities, including music, movement, sand, puppets and visual arts, and they’re a great way to relax, have fun and make new friends.  The sessions are held every Tuesday during term time and the next ones start on 3 September and run until 17 December.

Please note: Carers can normally attend dementia friendly screenings and activities for free and The Courtyard also does a lot of work around other conditions too, such as autism and learning disabilities, please contact them directly for more information.

To find out more about The Courtyard and the services, activities and events they offer for those living with dementia, please visit www.courtyard.org.uk/dementia-friendly.