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Funding Boost for Norwich Theatre’s Life in Music Programme

Marking UK Charity Week – we are pleased to announce that we have received nearly £11,000 in donations for our  Theatre Cares: A Life In Music Programme, supporting people living with mild to moderate dementia and their carers.


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To mark UK Charity Week – an annual charity campaign designed to place awareness and fundraising for charities high on the national agenda – Norwich Theatre is pleased to announce that it has received nearly £11,000 in donations for its Theatre Cares: A Life In Music Programme.

The programme is for people living with mild to moderate dementia and their carers to explore music and singing. The project is a collaboration between Musical Keys and Norwich Theatre.

Thanks to donations from the Alison Copley Charitable Trust Fund, the Norfolk Community Foundation through the Sheila Ann Day Fund, and the Anne French Memorial Trust, Norwich Theatre can offer additional places, and all now free.

The Theatre Cares: A Life In Music sessions each fortnight welcome everyone into the beautiful long bar of Norwich Theatre Royal. There is a chance to catch up with everyone before the class with tea and coffee before being led through the day’s workshop. There are a lot of musical instruments to play alongside singing and song writing.

All workshops are relaxed and set at a leisurely pace. Participants take part in whichever way they are comfortable or able, and no prior music experience is necessary.

Caregivers are encouraged to come along to ensure everyone feels as relaxed as possible in a new environment and to give caregivers time together, too.

Sam Dawson, Head of Creative Engagement at Norwich Theatre, said: “Theatre Cares prioritises enjoyment, escapism and nurturing the relationship between carers and those with dementia. By offering opportunities outside of clinical settings, Norwich Theatre hopes to offer an alternative experience that brings participants and caregivers together to share experiences and support one another.”

Alison Copley, from Alison Copley Charitable Trust Fund, said: “Theatre Cares is such an innovative way for the theatre to use its facilities, resources and connections for the benefit of an often overlooked group. After only a year’s pilot it is clear what enormous joy and value this programme delivers to those living with mild dementia and, just as importantly, their care givers. I am excited to enable the programme to double its reach in the second year and, hopefully, see it grow even more in the years to come.”

Carole and Roger attend Theatre Cares: A Life In Music together. Carole, said: “These sessions are really important to me because I can see the benefit that Roger is gaining from them. He is lifted, which lifts me, and he really enjoys playing his music for other people and people appreciate that and it’s just lovely to see him so invigorated. There are few things now that do that.”

Oliver Payne, Programme Manager at Musical Keys: “It is well researched that participation in interactive and person-centred music activities can improve behaviour, mood, memory, and cognition in those with dementia.

“With a growing population of older people living with dementia, we believe it is entirely necessary for meaningful and accessible community-based music activities to be made available. This funding will allow the programme to reach new audiences/participants and go some way to improving their lives through music.”

The new season of Theatre Cares: A Life In Music starts on 11 Jan 24. All participants must come with a caregiver. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be included. Donations towards the cost of the sessions are welcome. For more information or to book, visit or call the Box Office on 01603 630 000.