Proposed ArtsPAL (Preserve Active Life) Consortium

Empowering individuals with a dementia

to thrive – through shared creative interests

To support social prescribing for dementia (SP), prevent loneliness and preserve resilience in the community, we propose to co-ordinate a volunteer creative befriender scheme for individuals pre- and post-diagnosis.

Matched by shared interests through NHS primary care navigators, SP linkworkers, memory services, DAA, community navigators, arts and health organisations, ArtsPALs would accompany each other to weekly arts and heritage activity in the community.

Who can be an ArtsPAL?

  • Individuals with early symptoms of a dementia for mutual support
  • Arts-loving people whose spouses have died of a dementia
  • Arts facilitators and postgraduate arts students consolidating dementia awareness training
  • Creative and cultural companions/befrienders trained by existing organisations
  • NHS Health Champions


The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, who has  announced a new National Academy for Social Prescribing, recommends arts activities for dementia. But for people living alone, this will only work if they have someone with whom to enjoy the prescribed arts opportunities with. To provide effective  pre- and post-diagnostic support, the ArtsPAL scheme will help overcome dementia challenges and loneliness, restore a sense of purpose and revive access to inspirational events of interest to both ArtsPALs. 


We propose to involve a national consortium of stakeholders* and to set up a website. Like NHS toolkits, dementia directories, meeting centres, memory and support hubs, this would signpost to local befriender organisations with whom ArtsPALs register, to be recommended to individuals during assessment for dementia and as post-diagnostic support.

Roundtables, hosted by DAA, AgeUK

We propose to invite stakeholders, Culture Health & Wellbeing Alliance, NHS, SP practices, NCVO and existing creative befriender and arts for health organisations, AgeUK, DAA to discuss strategy, challenges, barriers, the best way forward.

Launch 2019

  • Volunteer week (April)
  • Age of Creativity (UK) Luminate (Scotland), Bealtine (Ireland) festivals, May
  • Paper at Arts 4 Dementia Best Practice Conference “Towards Social Prescribing (Arts & Heritage) for Dementia”, Wednesday 16 May
  • Dementia Action Week in Monday 21 May – Sunday 27 May
  • Carers Week Monday 10 June – Sunday 16 June .