Arts Derbyshire

Arts & Health


Matinee Cinema Project

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 have continued to reach people with a dementia and their families during the Covid19 pandemic by providing creative activities for people in their own homes. Three artists have engaged participants in bespoke creative activities, stimulating interest and drawing people into creative and meaningful conversation. We have worked mainly by post and by telephone, to enable those who are not able to access the digital and online activities that others are using to take part. The project aims to develop people’s social connectedness – not only through developing a new relationship with an artist remotely, but knowing they are involved in a project that other people are also participating in. The project enables people living with dementia to explore, develop and grow through creativity.

Participants have said:

“I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing with my mum. It’s been very emotional seeing her pictures too. What you are doing is truly amazing!”

“Being part of this project, it’s been a blessing”

“There have been times where this has kept me going”

Matinée is now drawing to a close and we will shortly be publishing resources for creative activity at home as well as information that we have gathered on putting together dementia friendly cinema screenings.

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.



Watch this space for our free downloadable Creativity at Home resource.



For more information about Matinée contact Nicky Bellenger, the project coordinator on 

Some Dementia Friendly Screenings that were part of the Matinée screenings programme are now up and running again:

The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
QUAD, Derby


Our work:

‘Enjoying the performance’ by Chris Webb Shirebrook volunteers by Frances Watt

Image credits (left to right): ‘Enjoying the performance’ by Chris Webb; Shirebrook volunteers by Frances Watt 


Matinee Outreach Project brings together a community that promotes an inspiring environment and connect with people living with dementia to tackle social isolation. Chris Bohan, a talented poet and an active member of the project shared with us some of his profound poetry that will transfer the reader into the world of metaphors. Click here to read more

Arts Derbyshire launched the Outreach project as a way of continuing to connect with people living with dementia and to tackle social isolation. Giulia Artuso, used to love performing on stage and when asked if she would like to perform again, her answer was yes but she didn’t think it would be possible. Click here to read more about how the Matinée Outreach Project helped.


Matinée is an Arts Derbyshire Arts and Health project, funded and supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Derbyshire County Council.

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