Arts Derbyshire

Arts & Health


Matinée was established, thanks to funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Derbyshire County Council Public Health, to help challenge social isolation and increase access to cultural activities for those living with dementia alongside their family, friends and carers. Between 2016 and 2020 the project brought the magic of cinema to rural communities and market towns across Derbyshire using village halls and community venues.

We continued to reach people living with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic by providing creative activities for people to try in their own homes, via the Matinée Outreach programme. Artists Nicky Bellenger, Lindsey Warnes-Carroll and Lisa Waugh worked mainly by telephone and post, delivering bespoke creative activities that stimulated interest and encouraged creative and meaningful conversation.

We also supported two of the project’s participants to create a series of films, in which they read their poems and creative writing. You can watch their performances here:

An activity book, ‘Creativity at Home’, has been produced to encourage people to explore the health and wellbeing benefits of being creative. The book features a range of creative activities, including visual art, creative writing and crafts, collated by the project artists. The activities in the book were originally devised for people living with dementia, but are suitable for a much wider audience, and could be done alone or in groups. The book could also help to provide ideas and inspiration for anyone supporting people’s health and wellbeing in a professional context, including care providers, teachers, community group leaders, arts practitioners, and social prescribing link workers.

The book is available to download for free via the link further down this page. We also have a number of printed copies available. Please contact project co-ordinator Nicky Bellenger on the details below to request a copy.

Over the course of the whole project we have been fortunate to have worked with many partners, and we are forever grateful for their help and expertise. Partners have included: Derbyshire County Council Arts Team, Public Health and Adult Care; Derbyshire CCGs; The University of Nottingham; The Alzheimer’s Society; Chesterfield Borough Council, Derby QUAD; the Film Hub Midlands; Making Space; and Derbyshire Dementia Action Alliance. Matinée is also proud to be a member of the BFI Film Audience Network.



Although Matinée has now come to an end, we have published a free resource, ‘Creativity at Home’, for anyone who would benefit from exploring creative activities from the comfort of their own home. To read more about this, click here.

Please download and share our activity book, suitable for anyone looking to explore their creativity from home, including care settings:

Creativity at Home Arts Derbyshire 2023


‘View from a Window’ – An Artist in a Pandemic

From September 2020 to May 2022, artist Nicky Bellenger worked with a number of participants on the Matinée Outreach project, connecting with participants remotely via telephone calls, post and video calls. In this reflective essay, Nicky discusses the highs and lows of working this way throughout the pandemic.

You can read Nicky’s reflections here: View From a Window Nicky Bellenger 

Similarly, you can read poet Philip Davenport’s reflections on Arts Derbyshire’s Necklace of Stars project here



The Matinée project has now come to an end. However, Dementia Friendly Screenings are continuing to be programmed in Derbyshire at the following organisations:

The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield:

If you require any further information about Matinée, please contact Nicky Bellenger, Project Co-ordinator, at:


Support for hosting dementia-friendly screenings

If you are a venue or community organisation looking to set up your own dementia-friendly screenings, please visit the following links for information, resources and support:


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