Musicians and artists spread the love at our special Valentine’s Day Imagination Cafe

In partnership with the University of West London and Harlequins Foundation, we held a special Valentine’s edition of our Imagination Café at the home of Harlequins, The Stoop. Following on from the success of our Christmas edition in December, this was the busiest event yet, with more than 80 attendees from the local community.

The Imagination Café is an immersive experience designed specifically for people with dementia and their carers, which encourages a creative approach to dementia care. The concept was designed by Professor Victoria Tischler, Head of Dementia Care Centre at University of West London and is underpinned by research undertaken by Professor Tischler and her colleagues, showcasing how the arts can transform dementia care.

We were joined by artists and musicians from our Arts for All programme, including comedy string trio The Bowfins, led by Violinist Adrian Garratt who regularly visits our hospitals providing musical entertainment and comic relief to our young patients and their families.

We were also joined by A Space Between, an art collective who set up weekly communal art tables and deliver bespoke colouring-in materials in hospital for patients, their families and all healthcare professionals to work together or in their own space. Pitzhanger Gallery were also at The Stoop bringing their show and tell workshops to guests, with historic items from their collection.

Harlequins players were there to chat to guests, take part in arts and crafts activities and help hand out food and drink. Wellbeing Coach Hollie, from the Harlequins Foundation, provided a group exercise class demonstrating some low impact chair based exercises that our guests could practice at home.

We work closely with Harlequins on several other projects improving patient care including match day health checks which are supported by hospital youth volunteers, and of course special patient visits from the team at Christmas. We’re thankful for the Harlequin’s ongoing support and can’t wait for the next Imagination Café!

See more photos from the event below.