Dukes Pioneer Project with Age UK Lancs

26 September 2013

A pioneering project to help people with dementia and their families enjoy films, theatre and the arts in Lancaster has received a funding boost.  

Journeying Together is a unique collaboration between Age UK Lancashire  and The Dukes which was launched last year.

The pilot programme proved such a success that it will continue thanks to a grant of almost £16,500 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The funding will support more films, theatre events and arts activities at The Dukes. These events specifically adapted for older people with dementia and their families but are also open to the general public.  Age UK Lancashire know of no similar programme elsewhere.

Age UK Lancashire’s Divisional Manager, Carol Taylor, said: “We aim to generate wide public interest, and work with leisure, public and private organisations to change perceptions of dementia.”

Journey Cafes are also part of the initiative, offering advice in the social setting of The Dukes Café Bar.

Pilot events at The Dukes so far have been warmly welcomed with one visitor commenting: “It was lovely meeting people who are not afraid to talk to us. It stops us being isolated at home.”

The forthcoming series of activities will be co-ordinated by new project officer, Angela Norris who has worked in Lancaster for many years as a health promotion specialist and a community engagement officer.

The aim of Journeying Together is to reduce the loneliness and social isolation which people with dementia and their relatives can suffer but the project also plans to create innovative ways of overcoming some of the obstacles to going out by looking at access to transport and having ‘volunteer buddies.’  

If you are interested in finding out more about the project or in volunteering, please contact Age UK Lancashire on 0300 303 1234.



For further information, please contact Louise Bryning, The Dukes press & marketing officer on 01524 598509, email [email protected]

Editor’s Notes

Age UK Lancashire is a local charity working across the county to improve later life for people in Lancashire. The charity provides information, advice, community projects, day care, support, insurance and signposting from twelve local offices across the county, including a local office at 7-11 Chapel Street, Lancaster. For more information call 0300 303 1234 or visit www.ageuklancs.org.uk.

Age UK Lancashire has joined forces with The Dukes Theatre to offer older people and their families increased access to the arts. Events will have a  focus on ageing to counter entrenched views of old age, promote understanding and encourage discussion.

The purpose also is to look at the barriers that stop people going to the theatre as they get older and then to try to overcome those obstacles. For many people, old age provides a chance to try out new interests and theatre and film performances present an exciting opportunity to look at the world through new eyes.

The Dukes is Lancashire’s only building based theatre to produce inhouse plays as well as hosting a wealth of quality touring work. The Moor Lane venue also includes one of the North West’s few independent cinemas, a gallery with an all-year-round exhibition programme, and a café bar.

The Dukes is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. It  receives regular funding from Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council.

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