There is growing awareness about the challenges of the UK’s ageing population including the knowledge that dementia has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in England and Wales. To reflect this, the Royal Albert Hall’s innovative education and outreach programme recently launched a new series of Dementia Friendly Screenings.

The screenings are programmed alongside other events and projects such as Royal Albert Hall Songbook, Tea Dance and Afternoon Coffee Club, which are specifically organised for older adults. . Through these offerings, we aim to enable a wide range of people to experience our iconic venue who may not otherwise be able to do so. We are always seeking to build and strengthen relations with community organisations and those supporting older adults in order to encourage customers to return to the Hall, and the screenings are a great example of this in practice.

Coming up:
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS
Wednesday 28 June
Royal Albert Hall presents a special dementia-friendly screening of 1951 musical film’s classic An American in Paris. Tickets are £5 and include coffee/tea.
Find tickets

What have some of the challenges been?

Our biggest challenge in establishing the Dementia Friendly Screenings has been spreading awareness and letting people know that we now hold them! Some people may not associate the Hall with such opportunities or may feel a little anxious about coming here, for whatever reasons.

Whilst the capacity for the screenings is capped as part of our dementia friendly provision, we want as many people to know about them as possible as they may also be interested in our other projects. We know that with events such as these, it is important to connect with organisations that support those with dementia at a grassroots level. This targeted approach is really beneficial for all involved.

If you are a grass roots organisation that supports those with dementia and would like to get in touch with us about our education and outreach programme please email education@royalalberthall.com.

What has the impact been on staff and customers?

Our staff are very proud to host these new events and champion the importance of doing so. We wish for the Hall to be open to all and during our upcoming seasons, we hope to build new audiences who can benefit from screenings and other community events.

Staff have learned a great deal about Dementia Friendly events. We provide in-house training for our front of house team, ensure that there is a quiet space available for any customer who may need to leave the event space, display symbol based signage and make other additional provisions to ensure that all have an unforgettable experience.