With dementia affecting more than 800,000 people in the UK and one Briton per hour being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a Lambeth dance company is aiming to change the lives of Londoners living with these degenerative diseases.
Rambert, based in South Bank, was awarded £100,000 from the City of London to support Londoners living with dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease by hosting special dance classes.
Joce Giles, Director of Creative Projects at Rambert, hopes to show the positive impact dance can have on the lives of older people and establish Rambert as a major dance provider for the elderly in London.
Joce said: “Evidence has shown that dance can significantly improve the health and well being of older adults, and we are excited about expanding our work in this area.
“At our South Bank studios, we will develop regular classes for people with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as sessions for people in the early stages of dementia.”
Rambert are also planning an extensive outreach programme across London in partnership with other organisations to bring dance to people living with dementia around the city.
The charity already has a proven record of working with young people and will use the funds to encourage older participants to attend dance performances at little or no cost.
The dance professionals will be trained to work with vulnerable adults, and the participants, as well as enjoying the performances, will have the opportunity to join dance sessions tailored for elderly patients recovering from serious illness and hospital treatment.
Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of City Bridge Trust, believes it is important that there is the provision to support the growing elderly population in London.
“With our grant, I am confident that Rambert will be able to work with many more elderly residents in the area, introducing them to the joys of performing and group activities,” he said.
Picture courtesy of Diana Robinson, with thanks