Derbyshire dementia arts project celebrates first year

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A project that helps people with dementia and their carers, family and friends combat isolation is celebrating after a successful first year.

Matinée, an Arts Derbyshire project which is funded and supported by Derbyshire County Council and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, arranges film screenings around the county.

Venues are transformed into dementia-friendly settings, including café-style seating, warmer lighting and volunteer staff on hand to offer help when needed.

Derbyshire County Council’s communities chief councillor Carol Hart said: “People with dementia should be able to live the life they want to lead in their communities, regardless of their condition.

“But often, it’s the things we take for granted like meeting up with friends and watching a movie that can have a big impact on feelings of loneliness and isolation.

“The Matinée project is not only a fantastic idea for people with dementia to feel more connected, but it provides carers, friends and family members with much-needed respite from their responsibilities – even for a few hours.

“It’s no surprise the project is going from strength to strength and I hope that more people can benefit once it’s rolled out to more areas in the county.”

Matinée relies on volunteers from the Alzheimer’s Society who are a key part of the team.

In the last year, the project has screened 15 films over 21 events in seven different areas of Derbyshire – attracting more than 320 patrons with dementia, as well as their friends, family and carers.

There will be a screening of An American in Paris in the Imperial Rooms, Matlock, tomorrow (Friday) between 1pm and 4pm.

For more on Matinée and to see future events, visit