Ageless Updates

Thank you so much for donating to Ageless and helping us bring the joy of live theatre to everyone. So far we have raised £74,000 towards our target of £100,000. Hopefully with the help and generosity of people like you we can raise the rest by end of November. 

You can donate to Ageless any time and help us reach our goal!


Recently we delivered our Creative Responses sessions with a group of residents of Barlavington Manor in Petworth. These were specifically tailored for those living with advanced dementia, focusing on sensory experience, rather than verbal communication. The pilot sessions went very well and we intend to continue to work with Barlavington Manor on a monthly basis. 


In other news, we have exceeded our target for our CFT Buddies scheme this season. Our target was to have five individuals using the scheme, offering 30 tickets, but we have actually offered 35 tickets to eight individual bookers. We are delighted and hope the scheme continues to grow as more people hear about it.

The CFT Buddies Scheme is supported by Rathbones

Rathbones Logo.


Our dementia friendly programme is well and thriving, thanks to the help of all of you who have donated to Ageless. Not only does Mind Body Sing begin again on 21 September, but we also have plans to grow and expand our Creative Responses work to reach more people in nursing and care homes. It is important we offer this type of event in care homes because often it can be difficult for those living with more advanced dementia to travel far, so we are very pleased to be able to visit them where they are comfortable and secure.


We recently interviewed Emilie Trodd, our 2017/8 Community Apprentice, to find out more about À La Mode, her inter-generational project inspired by fashion. À La Mode brought young and old together in interviews, 'show and tells' and finally through a devised theatre piece performed at the Dementia Hub in Tangmere.


What’s your name and role at CFT?

I’m Emilie and I’m the Community Apprentice here at CFT.

What’s À La Mode?

As part of our year at CFT, all apprentices must submit a project as part of their Gold Arts Award qualification. À La Mode was my project. It involved younger members of our Youth Theatre interviewing older people living with dementia on the theme of fashion. The young people then took the content of these interviews and devised a piece of theatre that they performed for the interviewees and their families at the Dementia Hub in Tangmere. Alongside the performance, I created a booklet that summarised their fashion stories and included some of the wonderful photos they had shared with us.

Why fashion?

I wanted the project to tie in with one of CFT’s Festival productions, and the timing meant it coincided with Flowers for Mrs Harris. As you may know, this production has a collection of amazing Dior dresses in it, so fashion was the obvious subject choice.

After undertaking training in interview skills and participating in a Dementia Friends awareness session, the young people brainstormed ideas around fashion and came up with their interview questions, which they then asked the older group.

The subject of fashion seemed to evoke very positive memories. The interviewees recalled different outfits from their youth and some truly great stories. One couple brought in the clothes they had worn for their golden wedding anniversary, and some of the young people tried them on!

What was the highlight of it for you?

The highlight for me was seeing the interviews come to life. I’d organised every aspect of the project, and so the interviews was the one part where I had to step back and see what unfolded, and the stories were surprising and delightful.

Were there any difficult challenges?

The hardest part was knowing exactly when I should step back in order to give the young participants space to explore and ask additional questions. Overall, it was so rewarding, but just a little unnatural at first because prior to this I’d controlled every aspect of the project.

What have you learnt from the experience?

This project is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. I have learnt how to manage a project from start to finish; I came up with the concept myself and oversaw the 13 participants – including the Year 8 Youth Theatre members, interviewees and volunteer transcribers – and saw it through to a final performance.

Stay tuned for more updates and feedback on our Ageless work, helping to keep theatre and live art at the heart of people’s lives, especially for older people at risk of isolation.

Ageless With Logo.

Donate to Ageless today