Loveday, a leading residential care provider, and the Royal Hospital Chelsea are excited to unveil an inspiring art collaboration titled “Home”. This initiative launches during Dementia Action Week (13-19th May 2024) and holds great significance for both organisations, who work tirelessly to support those living with dementia.

Loveday Members and a group of Chelsea Pensioners, many of whom have dementia, will embark on a creative journey over the next four months, encompassing various artistic mediums in their weekly art workshops. Their collective efforts will culminate in an art exhibition which will launch on World Alzheimer’s Day September 21st, 2024 at the Soane Stable Yard, the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s new  National Lottery Heritage Funded Outreach and Visitor Centre.

“Home” will represent a powerful anchor to the memories of the artists, their experiences and their sense of identity. It allows the artists, who have called home to numerous places in the UK and around the world, to express their emotions, memories and perceptions of home through their artwork, offering insights into their inner worlds and experiences.

The art workshops are led by Illustrator and Creative Educator Grace Holliday who incorporates traditional art skills such as painting, drawing and mixed-media design and sensory into her weekly workshops. The art programme was developed in partnership with researchers with the University of West London’s Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory, using the latest neuroscience and psychological evidence.

Reflecting on the initiative, Grace said: “This inspiring exhibition highlights the significance of art and sensory stimulation in supporting individuals living with dementia. While it’s often assumed that euphoria and creative accomplishments are beyond reach for those facing a dementia diagnosis, these workshops defy that notion, showcasing talent, identity and style with a palpable sense of pride. As cognitive decline progresses, memories associated with home, such as family gatherings, familiar surroundings and cherished moments, can become increasingly important and we want to honour this. We are all so excited to create ‘Home’.”

The weekly art workshops which take place at Loveday Abbey Road, Loveday Kensington and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, have been delivered for the last seven years. The programme was gifted to The Royal Hospital Chelsea by Loveday’s Chairman and philanthropist Laurence Geller CBE, who saw the profound effect art was having on Loveday Members and wanted to extend this to the Chelsea Pensioners, who have given so much to society.

As we celebrate this impactful collaboration between Loveday and the Royal Hospital Chelsea, we are reminded of the profound role art plays in enriching lives, especially for those living with dementia. We aim to inspire hope, understanding and empowerment within our community and beyond. We are proud to be giving back to these remarkable people who have contributed so much to our country, making our ‘home’ the place it is today. We are most grateful to General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Governor of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, for facilitating and enthusiastically supporting this programme that inspires so many,” said Laurence Geller, CEO of Loveday.

This next stage in the programme marks an exciting new chapter, as Loveday Members and Chelsea Pensioners will come together at key moments over the next four months to explore one another’s current homes, forging stronger bonds amongst the communities of artists. Together, the groups will discover Loveday’s creative spaces and explore the Royal Hospital Chelsea – home of the Chelsea Pensioners with its spectacular art collection and Grade I listed heritage buildings – as part of a project kindly funded by City Bridges Trust, adding another springboard for creative inspiration.

This collaboration celebrates artistic expression, facilitates meaningful connections and promotes awareness about dementia.  Through the transformative power of art, the programme aims to honour the talents and experiences of individuals within our community while advocating for greater understanding and support for those affected by dementia.

“We are delighted to bring together Chelsea Pensioners and Loveday Members to create ‘Home’. This collaboration symbolises The Royal Hospital’s and Loveday’s shared respect for an individual’s experience, our shared dedication to nurture belonging amongst our communities, and our shared pride in the care that our organisations provide for people living with dementia. Over the next four months, we will create a meaningful, safe and imaginative space within which each artist can connect with their private meaning of ‘home’ and ultimately celebrates work which proudly challenges commonly held misconceptions about what those living with dementia can do.” said Marina Spiteri, Community Engagement and Outreach Manager at the Royal Hospital Chelsea