ARTWORK created by people living with dementia is being shared with the community in Settle thanks to an pioneering partnership.

Continued Care, which has a mobility aids shop in the town centre and provides home care across the area, is hosting a long-running exhibition of poetry, stories and artwork in its shop on the High Street.

It’s the latest move in a partnership which has seen the care provider work increasingly closely with Pioneer Projects, based in High Bentham.

For the last few years, the charity has been running a weekly activity day for people living with dementia, which Continued Care has been supporting.

Pioneer Projects facilitator Jack Parkinson said: “As an arts and health charity, we’re very experienced and comfortable with offering appropriate workshops and events to people with differing needs and poor mental health.

“However, in our specialist group for people living with dementia, their physical needs can often be quite complex and that’s not within our remit. We needed trained staff who were used to dealing with personal care needs during the day, so we approached Continued Care.

“Every week, the combination of the two organisations ensures that we care for the whole person. Continued Care do a detailed medical assessment which is held in confidence by their worker, who will do her own ongoing monitoring of personal care requirements.

“This allows Pioneer Projects to focus on person-centred, individual creative stimulation. Having Continued Care’s expertise with us means we can concentrate on ensuring they have an enjoyable, creative day, while their family at home get lots of time to relax, knowing they are being well cared for.”

Each week, around a dozen people living with dementia go to the centre for a five-hour session. They begin with artwork, which includes everything from painting to felt-making. The aim is to allow everyone to contribute, regardless of memory. The afternoon consists of music and movement, before the day finishes and participants are collected or taken home on the minibus.

Organisers say that the activities offer people living with dementia the chance to be creative and express themselves in new ways. The day is designed with their needs in mind, enabling them to let go of day-to-day worries and focus purely on the activity in front of them.

Carer Donna Ford spends every Thursday at the Creative Respite Day. She said: “I feel very fortunate to be able to join in with this. I have such a wonderful time every week – I call it my Thursday family.”

The exhibition is at Continued Care’s shop on the High Street in Settle and will run until further notice.