Training: Recipes for Creative Care

“Our Recipes for Creative Care cover all areas of daily life and offer a whole home approach to support people living with dementia. We’ve developed them with care staff and managers to ensure they provide a useful and effective go-to guide.”

We were commissioned by Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group to work with care homes in Gateshead to develop the communications guide for staff to enhance the wellbeing of those living with dementia.

The 33-card packs, piloted in care homes in Newcastle and Gateshead, provide visual cues for creative ways to communicate with people living with dementia.

Alongside our training, the Recipes for Creative Care support the call from Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care with the Care Quality Commission, for care homes to be:

“Flexible and responsive to people’s individual needs and preferences, finding creative ways to enable people to live a full life.”



Upcoming training for artists and venue staff

Are you looking to add a string to your bow and widen your offer for people living with dementia?

We've had great feedback from those who joined us for the March training with writer and actor David Napthine

Our Dementia and Imagination training, aimed at artists and those working in cultural venues, returns on July 1 with an afternoon session led by visual artist Clare Armstrong at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, 2pm - 5pm.

"It was great and stiumulating. I gained new ideas, understanding and feel better equipped to work with people living with dementia."

The session, which focuses on the Imagination Model, will include how to build the five senses into creativity and how to validate everyone’s creative contribution during a session.

There will be refreshments and resources to positively enhance your practice and widen your offer.
To register your interest or book a place please email [email protected]

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Recipes for Creative Care Training

The guide is a whole home approach and training is required to ensure the recipe cards are used to their full potential. Our training sessions can be delivered during staff meetings and cost £435, with five recipe card packs, each containing 33 resources, included.

Training includes: 

  • Evidence-base regarding how creativity is intact when cognitive functioning diminishes.
  • Suggestions for use of cards with people with different levels of dementia.
  • Exploring a multi-sensory approach to everyday life – how to connect without using words.
  • Time to reflect on how best to share the knowledge gained about individual residents.


Dementia and Imagination Training

There is growing evidence that a person’s imagination remains strong while other cognitive functions diminish.

The Imagination Model centres on living in the moment, exploring creativity and celebrating a person’s imagination to support communication.

Our dementia and imagination training is ideal for creative practitioners and staff within cultural and community venues in contact with the public.

Offering a whole venue approach, the training provides participants with an understanding of the effects of dementia, how to use creativity to aid communication and how to create inclusive, dementia-friendly creative opportunities.

Three-hour training sessions can be bespoke and delivered for up to 15 people from £600.

Book your creative training with Equal Arts

Contact Us

Gateshead's Creativity Ageing Network

Supported by the Tyne and Wear Care Alliance, our professional artists provide training sessions which deliver a whole home approach.

"I watch how they get everyone to take part. They start from the group and then invite the quieter people to give their views. It's very relevant, inspiring.” 

Our training builds on the workforce development project “Room for the Imagination” and enables care staff to learn creative communication skills from artists.

The aim of the our network is to spread good practice. We support activities co-ordinators and other care staff, highlighting the importance of creative activity in everyday life within care settings. The network helps build confidence, skills and creative approaches to enrich the lives of residents.

The creative sessions look at creative approaches involving music, dance, storytelling (TimeSlips model) and multi-sensory visual arts. We look at how to involve other local cultural organisations to support good practice including intergenerational work.

Activity provision and supporting participation is endorsed within the care standards framework and inspection processes in the UK. Engagement of older adults and adults with dementia in participatory arts can help improve cognitive functioning, communication, self-esteem, enjoyment of life, memory and creative thinking by providing opportunities for meaningful social contact. (Remington 2002, Holmes et al, 2006)

The Tyne & Wear Care Alliance are responsible for publicising the Network meetings to all the appropriate care homes, encouraging attendance and booking in attendees and supporting the events.

Artists' Lunches

We love to connect freelance artists who are working or would like to work with people living with dementia in care homes.

In the past our artists' lunches have been an informal way for North East artists to meet and share experiences.

Musician Nicky Rushton, who coordinated the events, said: "The discussions artists have had have been insightful and inspiring. It feels important to share experiences and practice."

Freelance dance artist Mona McCarthy works with Equal Arts on creative sessions exploring the latest delivery models such as the Imagination Model. She said: “The lunches are a fantastic opportunity for artists to be inspired by what others are doing in the North East and find out about upcoming work opportunities. “I have always felt incredibly supported as an artist working with Equal Arts and it is great to have the chance to deliver dance sessions in care settings.”

To register your interest in attending an artists’ lunch email [email protected]

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