Dementia-friendly film screening comes to Dronfield

A dementia-friendly film screening came to Sheffield last night as part of a campaign to help sufferers across the country.

The screening of the classic film Miracle on 34th Street at Dronfield Civic Hall was organised by Matinee Productions, a group which aims to help those living with dementia across Derbyshire through cinema. The group has previously worked in conjunction with Derbyshire County Council and Arts Derbyshire.

Matinee attempt to provide an accessible, ‘dementia-friendly’ atmosphere at all of their film screenings. As well as the film, there were a host of interactive resources for guests to use, such as old photos, books and cardboard cut-outs of famous actors from previous eras – all with the aim of stimulating the guests’ memories of previous eras.

Frances Watt, who hosted the screening says: “This is an attempt to get people who live in the community with dementia out of their houses, having a cultural experience at the same time as being in a safe environment.

“We have an extra room that people can go to, a quiet room and we can have the lighting on and off depending on who’s in the room. This allows people who would otherwise be put off by the cinema experience to still enjoy film.”

Pam Megson regularly attends the screenings with her husband. She says: “I think it’s a great project. My husband has Alzheimer’s, and coming here gives us a chance to get out and mix with people and see something new.”