Capital Theatres wins “Excellence in Inclusivity” award for the dementia friendly programme at yesterday’s UK Theatre Awards 

Capital Theatres was announced as the winner of the “Excellence in Inclusivity” award for the dementia-friendly programme at the prestigious UK Theatre Awards on Sunday 8 October, at London’s historic Guildhall. The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to celebrate outstanding achievements in theatre across the UK. 

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Intergenerational Tea and Jam. Photo: Greg Macvean.

Lucie Jeffrey, one of two Creative Engagement Coordinators for the dementia friendly programme and Charlotte Gross, Director of Audiences attended the ceremony at London’s Guildhall.   

Described by UK Theatre as “pioneering and ambitious”, theextensive and popular programme of activities and events, run by the Creative Engagement team, empowers people living with dementia (PLWD) to carry on engaging with theatre for as long as they are able. It celebrates their creativity and potential, as well as that of their carers.   

This activity ranges from access performances; free participatory events such as Tea and Jam, Songwriting Sprint, Intergenerational Storytelling and Interview skills sessions; the Christmas Show in care homes, and the Creative Contributors groups. It also features the in-house produced DementiArts Magazine and the All the World’s a Stage podcast.

Special thanks must go to Claire Swanson, Head of Creative Engagement, Lucie Jeffrey and Alex Howard, Creative Engagement Coordinators for the dementia friendly programme, Izzy Gray, Creative Engagement Coordinator, Gus Harrower, Creative Engagement Artist and regular volunteers Sheila and Sandy 

Other nominees in the “Excellence in Inclusivity” category were Midland Arts Centre and Queens Theatre Hornchurch.  

Fiona Gibson, Chief Executive of Capital Theatres, said: 

“It’s tremendous that the brilliant work delivered by everyone involved in this groundbreaking programme has been recognised and celebrated by the UK Theatre Awards.   

A huge congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in this phenomenal programme. It takes the whole organisation to support this work, from the technical department to Front of House, from Box Office to Marketing, Comms and Digital, and I am hugely proud of Capital Theatres, always committed to delivering the best experience possible for everyone who engages with us.  

The work we do has a profound impact on very special communities and our creative engagement team build such strong relationships with our participants. We are so excited to continue to innovate and make a difference”.  

Claire Swanson, Head of Creative Engagement said:  

“Our programme is driven by the dementia friendly community and their voices sit at the heart of everything. With their guidance we offer opportunities to embrace theatre, meet new people, try new things and celebrate what people living with dementia can do. We are grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey so far and look forward to continuing this vitally important work for people living with dementia and their carers”. 

Willy Gilder, journalist and presenter of All the Worlds a Stage podcast and living with dementia said:  

“It gives me enormous pleasure to learn of Capital Theatres winning the UK Theatre Award for “Excellence in Inclusivity”. It’s no exaggeration to say that getting involved with these folk helped save my life.”  

The UK Theatre Awards 2023 took place on Sunday 8 October at London’s historic Guildhall and was hosted by Musical Theatre star Zoe Birkett. 

Charlotte Gross, Director of Audiences and Lucie Jeffrey, Creative Engagement Coordinator for the dementia friendly Programme of Capital Theatres accepting UK Theatre Award for “Excellence in Inclusivity” on Sunday 8 October. Photo: Ewa Ferdynus.

The dementia friendly programme has been supported by

Life Changes Trust, The Rayne Foundation, The Robertson Trust, the Paul and Nick Harvey Fund, About Dementia, Age Scotland, and other funders who prefer to remain anonymous.   


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