Peer support group on song with arts award win

Picture shows Ken and Beth Hindley with items during a workshop held at West Yorkshire Playhouse


A peer support group for people living with dementia in Leeds has been hitting the high notes by winning a local arts award.

The Cultural Partnership group, part of Leeds City Council’s Peer Support Service, won the Arts in Health award at the recent Love Arts Leeds festival.

The group runs a programme of activities at arts and heritage venues including the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre and the Leeds Central Library.

A recent project saw the group, for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers, share their favourite memories of hit musicals they had seen.

Members also met theatre staff and crew members and even created and recorded their own song as part of the Musical Memories scheme.

Other projects the group has been working on include their current series of Wild World workshops, looking at animals and the natural environment, which has seen the group study the collection at the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre.

Deborah Marshall, a peer support co-ordinator who works with the group, said: “Everyone involved with our cultural partnership is very proud that we’ve won this award.

“For our Musical Memories project, we looked back on some of our favourite musicals and talked about our memories of them which everyone really enjoyed.

“Our partnership work with the Playhouse has given participants a chance to meet with some of the cast of their productions and the full partnership has supported the creation of our own theatre programme.”

She added: “The idea of all our cultural projects is to open up opportunities for people living with dementia to engage with the arts, history, new learning and reminiscence in a supported environment.

“The sessions can provide an opportunity for people to re-engage with things that are important to them, things that can often be limited or lost during the experience of dementia. Confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem are improved for many people living with dementia attending the groups.”

The Cultural Partnership group meets once a week and currently has around 20 members.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “Our peer support service plays a hugely important role in helping to reassure those with dementia that there is support there from people with a real understanding of what they are going through and that they don’t have to cope alone.

“The Cultural Partnership is a wonderful example of some of the fun and innovative work being done by the service and they thoroughly deserve this award.”

The Love Arts Awards recognise the contribution of people, groups and organisations in Yorkshire who have made a difference to people’s mental wellbeing through the arts.

For more information on the council’s peer support service, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Dementia-care.aspx


For more information, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk