Derbyshire County Council have helped people with dementia across Derbyshire to enjoy their favourite films in dementia-friendly settings with the help of Arts Derbyshire.

Their Matinée project has been screening classic films for people with dementia and their families in the Amber Valley and Glossop areas for a year.

Thanks to a grant secured from a charitable foundation, the project is now being expanded across the county for a further four years, giving even more people the chance of enjoying an afternoon at the pictures.

Calamity Jane, On the Town and the King and I are just three of the classic films being screened by the Matinee project to help boost memories.

Screenings take place in community halls which are specially adapted to make the environment dementia friendly. This includes café-style seating, warmer lighting and volunteer staff on hand to offer help when needed.

Along with Arts Derbyshire, Derbyshire County Council run the project in partnership with Derby QUAD, Made in Derbyshire, The Alzheimer’s Society, the University of Sheffield and local NHS clinical commissioning groups.

The £175,000 grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will fund a part-time worker to run the project, contribute to the cost of screenings and provide training for other organisations to expand their dementia-friendly activities.

Cinemas and other social activities can often be inaccessible to people with dementia, but the Matinée programme aims to provide a normal, enjoyable leisure activity to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said:

“Dementia is a condition that can take away a lot – not just memories.”These Matinée events are brilliant because not only do they give those with dementia an opportunity to get out and about, they also help unlock memories.

“Even if someone doesn’t remember the film, they remember certain songs or actors and can use this to help trigger other memories.”

Six films are already lined up for screening – doors open at 1pm:

Glossop − Friday, August 19 – Calamity Jane; Friday, October 28 −The King and I; Friday, February 17 – There’s No Business like Show Business. Central Methodist Church, Chapel Street.

Belper − Friday, September 23 − On the Town; Friday, February 24 – Easter Parade. Strutts, Derby Road.

Langley Mill − Friday, December 9 – It’s A Wonderful Life. St Andrew’s Church Hall.

Screenings cost £2, which includes refreshments and people with dementia can bring a carer, friend or family member for free.

The project also works with local libraries and artists to deliver memory-boosting activities and singing alongside the film screenings to help stir up memories.

Councillor Allen added:

“We’re delighted that the new funding will help bring such an innovative and helpful project to many more people around the county.”

For more information about the Matinée project or to book tickets, call the team on 07449 732322 or email matineederbyshire@gmail.com to join the mailing list.

For a list of upcoming screenings and to learn more about the project, visit www.artsderbyshire.org.uk/matinee