Clifton Hospital patients enjoy movement sessions as part of arts project

Vicky Frayard directs the chair based movement session on Clifton Ward 1

A performance team which aims to increase awareness of dementia, has been working at Clifton hospital.

The Dare to Be Great project, put together by Fable Arts, in partnership with Ludus Dance, aims to foster greater awareness and understanding of what’s it’s like to live with dementia through a piece of physical theatre.

The piece will performed by 12 local young people, at this year’s Lytham Festival in August.

Ludus Dance’s Creative Programme manager Vicky Frayard, ha ran the chair based movement sessions with patients from different Clifton wards.

The sessions encourage patients to follow dance moves and include wearing cowboy hats and shaking pom-poms to add extra fun.

This is followed by tea and cake in which the project’s staff and young people sit and chat to patients and record their memories of days gone by and their experiences of living with dementia. These memories will then be used to create the physical theatre performance.

Clinical Matron, Courtney Bickerdike said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity to participate in this community project.

“The atmosphere has been electric and the laughter has been great.”

Vicky Frayard said: “It is lovely to be working here. Everyone is so welcoming and generous with their time.

“The patients were singing and joining in even if they weren’t moving.”

Ward 1 patient, Evelyn Etherington, said: “This session makes a nice change. It’s cheerful and bucks you up. It’s nice to sit together and be away from the ward.”

Patients Rhoda Nelson, Melvin Douglas and Evelyn Etherington with Assistant Practitioner Dawn Johnson

One of the young people taking part in the project, Ella Grace Gregoire said: “The session has been really good.

“It made me cry at the start when everyone remembered all the words to the songs.”

Director of Fable Arts, Alex O’Toole, said: “Today was about establishing relationships with some of the patients.

“The movement was a way to get patients engaged and relaxed. This is the first of three sessions where the conversations are recorded then translated into the performance.

“It’s been lovely to see the patients chatting to each other and finding out how much some of them have got in common.”

The performance will be part of Lytham Festival taking place Tuesday 1 to Sunday August 6. For more details go to

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