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AUC on the panel at Southbank Centre’s Creative Arts Conference

Published on 13 June 2019 04:08 PM

Age UK Camden’s Dementia Wellbeing Worker Gabi, and Larry and Elena who are supported by the service, spoke at the Southbank Centre’s Creative Arts Conference this week. They shared their thoughts on the ways our Dementia Wellbeing service helps people who live with dementia to continue their creative pursuits and their involvement with the Southbank Centre’s (B)old Words poetry project.

Speakers included Rebecca Pow MP - Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Simon Stevens – Chief Executive, NHS England, and Gillian Moore CBE – Director of Music, Southbank Centre, and it was attended by MPs, policy makers, health and social care professionals, people from arts charities and community groups.

Here’s Gabi’s round-up of the event:

“I was asked by The Southbank Centre’s Creative Learning Team to chair a discussion between Antosh - the poet who ran their weekly '(B)old Words - Poetry for Dementia group', and two of my Dementia Wellbeing clients I had brought along to the group and who then attended weekly and loved it.

They asked me to firstly introduce myself and say what the Age UK Camden Dementia Wellbeing Service does; that one of the key features of the service is finding ways for people to carry on doing what they've always loved doing, and therefore when I found out about Southbank Centre (B)old Words project I was very interested and this is how we came to be involved.

I gave a bit of background on why Larry and Elena were interested in the project and their relationship with poetry. I asked Larry, Elena and Antosh about their experience of the group, what they found most rewarding, and whether it had a lasting impact.

Both Larry and Elena spoke beautifully. Some of the things they said about the group was that it reignited their interest in poetry and reading, and got them more in touch with their soul and spirit. They said it had opened doors for them and they didn't think these experiences were available to them so late in life.

One of the really nice things is that the Southbank Centre put together a book of poems by the poetry for dementia group, and one of these was on every seat so everyone could take one away, which Larry and Elena were really pleased with.

Massive thanks to Lucy and Nanda from the Creative Learning team at the Southbank Centre who got us involved and looked after us all so well.”

Find out more about Age UK Camden's Dementia Wellbeing and Dementia Befriending services here.

Photo by Leo Garbutt