Dementia Awareness

“My husband’s dementia has excluded us from many activities with the general public but with dementia screening we feel safe enough to enjoy going to the cinema again. It has been liberating for us both as we cope with this isolating illness.” – Linda

In 2016, we started working to raise awareness of dementia in partnership with film exhibitors. Film Hubs across the UK offered training and support for projects of all sizes for audiences living with dementia, along with their families, friends and carers.

FHW initially developed a pilot project with Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Pontio in Bangor and Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold, designed to offer regular screenings for audiences living with dementia.

The scheme expanded to Opening Doors diversity training days in February 2016. Over two days we offered a number of sessions designed to reach diverse audiences, one of which was the Alzheimer’s Societies’ Dementia Friend’s session.

The project gather more venues and culminated in a celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day, where venues across the country developed programmes and we welcomed Toki to FAN as the new Access Officer.

If you would like your venue to become more dementia friendly, take a look at our Dementia Awareness Stage One Tool Kit or our Dementia Friendly Screenings Guide (in partnership with the UKCA and Alzheimer’s Society) for handy advice to get you started.

The Project

The three venue pilot project aimed to develop a sustainable model of enjoyable and inclusive events that encouraged people with dementia, their carers and wider film audiences to come together to explore their love of film.

Together, we worked to identify existing audience members who would benefit from dementia friendly events and establish and develop relationships between audiences, venues and the wider supportive communities. Looking at existing projects across the UK, we aimed to pool existing toolkits and resources available to venues, helping them to become ‘dementia friendly’.

This 12 month film season (working in partnership with relevant specialist organisations) tested and refined approaches to: staff training; adjustments to the wider venue and auditorium environment where possible; types of film; most appropriate screening time; and how to communicate with audiences within the venue and in marketing materials.

This included an action research approach, which used feedback from audiences, venue and staff from the partner organisations to evaluate each event. This on-going evaluation will be used to refine and develop future events and passed on as advice to venues wishing to create their own programmes.

This project challenged social exclusion, bringing diverse audiences together to enjoy film. It provided opportunities for awareness raising for partner organisations. It includes a longer-term plan to develop a flexible scalable sustainable model, to create a network of venues and relevant support agencies, in wales and more widely across the UK.

Wider partners

Alzheimer’s Society

Public Health Wales

Memory Care, an NHS NIHR funded project examining the experiences of people with dementia and their carers (Katie Featherstone)


Case studies 

The ICO invited Johnathan Llot, Film Programme Manager at The Dukes, to tell them how cinema can help people with dementia live a life more ordinary


Read all about the wider project in our release: Cinemas Wales-wide recognise World Alzheimer’s Month

Find out more...

For further information on Dementia Awareness or the FAN Inclusive Cinema Strategy click here
contact FAN Access Officer Toki Allison: