London Mayor launches the world’s first Dementia Friendly Venues Charter

Dementia Action Week | Hillingdon Today

As London’s vibrant creative arts scene re-opens with the lifting of Covid restrictions, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched a world-beating initiative to make sure those living with dementia in London and around the country can make the most of the city’s cultural attractions.

In partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, the Mayor has today (18 May) launched the world’s first Dementia Friendly Venues Charter for cultural public venues, at the Museum of London, in a drive to ensure that every Londoner with dementia and their carers has a dementia-friendly cultural space on their doorstep.

It aims to transform cultural venues for people living with dementia and their carers through a range of dementia-friendly resources including sensory tours, inclusive performances, dedicated relaxed sessions, clear signage, designated chill out zones and staff training. Launching in Dementia Action Week, the Charter has been devised in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Society and the Museum of London. 40 major cultural venues have so far pledged to sign.

Almost 70,000 people aged 65 and over are estimated to be living with dementia in London. They can experience memory loss, differences in sight perception, restricted mobility and be hypersensitive to noise levels, making visits to cultural spaces stressful. By signing up to the charter, venues will commit to take practical action to support visitors. For example, the Museum of London runs a ‘Memories of London’ programme that offers creative, sensory activities both at its museums and in care homes and day care centres, using its rich collection.

The Mayor is determined to make London the first dementia-friendly capital city in the world, and continues to work in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society to deliver Dementia Friendly London.

In a statement, he said: “I was re-elected on a pledge to be a Mayor for all Londoners and that includes those living with dementia and their carers, so I am delighted to launch the world’s first Dementia Friendly Venues Charter today at the Museum of London.

“As our city begins to re-open and our campaign to attract visitors gets into full swing, I want to send a clear message that our cultural venues are here to welcome people with dementia and we all have a part to play to ensure our capital is a more welcoming place.”