ArtsPAL Befriender Network

ArtsPAL (Preserve Active Life)

Empowering individuals with a dementia to thrive – through shared creative interest

Arts 4 Dementia is coordinating a network of cultural and creative befriender organisations to support social prescribing as pre- and post-diagnostic support for dementia. The ArtsPAL Befriender Network will act as a directory of befrienders who can accompany individuals to creative activities at arts venues or online in order to help combat loneliness and preserve resilience in the community. In the same way that Arts 4 Dementia signposts events for dementia, the network signposts to befrienders to enable individuals and social prescribers to discover these services. Befrienders who wish to be signposted to as part of the ArtsPAL Befriender Network may register here.

Why?

  • Over 200,000 people are diagnosed with dementia each year. A dementia diagnosis has a devastating impact on them and their families. One-third live alone. The National Academy for Social Prescribing calls for more arts activities for dementia.
  • Using an individual’s interests, social prescribing can direct them to local arts and wellbeing opportunities. However, for people living alone, anxiety, travel and the initiative to leave home can prove a challenge. 
  • Befriending services for dementia are often offered further down the line as home visits. Help is needed at the outset of symptoms. An ArtsPAL can share weekly activities of interest that would preserve life in the community, despite dementia, and provide effective pre- and post-diagnostic support and revive access to inspirational events of interest to both ArtsPALs. 

Who can be an ArtsPAL?

  • Befrienders trained by existing organisations.
  • National Trust, musuem and heritage volunteers. 
  • Arts and medical students consolidating dementia awareness training.
  • Arts facilitators consolidating dementia awareness training.
  • Culture and Age-Friendly Champions, NHS Health Champions, Dementia Champions.
  • Art lovers whose spouses have died of a dementia or individuals with early symptoms of a dementia for mutual support.

How?

Our goal is to work as a network of befriending organisations supporting cultural wellbeing activity. In the first instance, this web-page will link to members of the ArtsPAL Befriender Network. 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.

We aim to ensure that the network creates the best opportunities through social prescribing, from the first symptoms of a dementia.
To find out more about the network or its members contact cicely@arts4dementia.org.uk. 
To join the ArtsPAL Befriender Network, please complete the registration form.

ArtsPAL Befriender Network

London East of England 
North West South East
North East South West
Yorkshire Scotland 
West Midlands Northern Ireland
East Midlands Wales