A theatre and drama professional has been appointed as the new experience coordinator at leading dementia care specialist, Belong Macclesfield.
Charlotte Parton, from Shropshire, will lead the Upton Priory care village’s experiences and activities programme for its residents and apartment tenants, as well as for its adult day care service for the wider community, known as ‘experience days’.
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) alumnus will be drawing upon her wealth of expertise, having already worked extensively alongside schools, businesses and care homes, facilitating performances, arts workshops and craft sessions.
Further, whilst obtaining her theatre and community drama degree qualification, Charlotte played a key role in ‘More Than… Blanket Baths and Bedpans’ – a celebration of the history of the NHS in the city. The showcase of personal stories and memories of the service culminated in a community play featuring care home residents – something which Charlotte hopes to replicate with Belong’s customers.
Speaking of her appointment, Charlotte Parton, experience coordinator at Belong Macclesfield, said: “I love using culture, the arts and heritage for the benefit of others and I’m a believer in inclusivity and equality; everyone should have the same opportunities and experiences, no matter their age or ability. It’s very exciting to be working with older people and those living with dementia and I’m looking forward to getting to know our customers and be able to provide activities that engage their passions.”
It was whilst honing her ambitions at university when Charlotte first became aware of Belong, owing to their partnership with Liverpool-based Bluecoat. The city’s centre for contemporary arts has previously commissioned artists for ‘art residencies’ in Belong villages across the North West to explore the use of arts in care environments. To-date, they have completed over 150 workshops, ranging from storytelling and sculpture, to music and dance. Academics have recognised high engagement, enhanced cognitive capacity and an increased sense of community amongst participants.
Charlotte continues: “When I saw Belong Macclesfield had an opening, I knew straightaway that it was definitely somewhere I’d like to work. Belong has a strong reputation and track record for involving the community in activity provision and I’m looking forward to continuing to carry the baton and build on past success.”
Caroline Ray, general manager at Belong Macclesfield, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Charlotte to the team. She is a natural leader and has the credentials when it comes to working with others, inspiring and supporting them to bring their ideas to life. We’re looking forward to seeing her working her creative talents with our customers. Watch this space!”