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MSc in Dementia Studies student invited to speak at Dementia Conference


MSc in Dementia Studies student, Nicky Taylor, spoke at the Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Seminar at Sadlers Wells on 8 November to highlight the use of drama approaches to engage people living with dementia.

The event encouraged arts organisations to share experience of dementia practice in music, drama, dance and art, in order to inspire other cultural institutions to develop their offer for people living with dementia.

The drama debate was chaired by Pam Schweitzer of European Reminiscence Network. Nicky represented West Yorkshire Playhouse, where she leads programmes of creative work for older people and people living with dementia and their partners. She uses story making, puppetry, songwriting, poetry and visual arts to explore participants' talents and experiences. Exploring the world of a producing theatre is key in all projects with time spent backstage to see sets, props and costumes being made, and meeting technical staff and actors.

Amongst others represented on the drama panel were Turtle Key Arts and Central School of Speech and Drama, whose Applied Theatre students have been training to lead sessions for people with dementia.

Other presentations included research by neuroscientist, Dr Camilla Clark, into connections between music and brain function in frontotemporal dementia, with keynote speeches from Baroness Greengross OBE and Harry Cayton OBE.