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King's Civic Challenge team opens immersive theatre experience inspired by people living with dementia

A Map to You, developed by local charity The Dot Collective alongside King’s College London students, tells the vibrant life stories of individuals and their families who are living with dementia.

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Spotlighting the person not the dementia, A Map to You, which received the King’s Civic Challenge arts and health award in April 2021, reshapes the way we respond to the disease through theatre performance and shared experiences. A unique storytelling project, it has supported those living with dementia in south London, and their carers, to rediscover their creativity and enhance their wellbeing.

King’s Civic Challenge teams up students, staff and alumni with local community partners to create positive change in our home boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Westminster.

Each group works together to tackle complex local issues identified by their community or charity partner. To build and enhance these ideas, they are supported by a King’s alumni coach and take part in training and workshops covering idea generation, communications, project management, evaluation and pitching skills. Winners receive £5,000 to make their idea a reality, alongside a package of evaluation and support.

A team of five King’s students from King’s Business School, the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry & Neuroscience, worked with Laura Harling and Scott Turner from The Dot Collective, supported by King’s alumni coach Emily Berrington.

The insights and fresh thinking that our group of students brought to our King’s Civic Challenge project helped us to shape and develop this distinctive community-led programme. Our partnership with King’s College London and its students has had transformative impact on local families living with dementia.– Laura Harling, Artistic Director, The Dot Collective

Since winning the award The Dot Collective team have connected professional playwrights with families living with dementia to capture the rich memories of participants through short, promenade plays.

Inspired by the unique connections between playwright and participant and a series of online, creative storytelling workshops with a dementia peer group, The Dot Collective will transform Longfield Hall in Camberwell into an immersive experience of short plays later this month.

A Map to You runs from 27 October until 4 November 2021 at Longfield Hall, 50 Knatchbull Road, London SE5 9QY

The full King’s Civic Challenge team for The Dot Collective:

Laura Harling and Scott Turner from The Dot Collective, with Ben Ettridge, BSc Economics and Management, King’s Business School, Catrina Kemp, MSc Digital Marketing, King’s Business School, Ayesha Parkar, BA English, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Shruti Sharma, BSc Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and Anyi Zhang, MSc Finance Analytics, King’s Business School. With the support of King’s alumni coach, actor Emily Berrington.