A COMMUNITY led theatre programme connecting young people with older people with dementia will come from nearly £75,000 National Lottery Community funding for Solent Mind and Theatre for Life.

Through weekly creative activities, groups will be sharing experiences to gain an insight into each other's lives through restorative and arts based activities which improve health, wellbeing and social isolation.

‘Roots and Branches’ will be supporting 23 older people with early onset to moderate dementia and 25 young people with mental health needs. Creative activities designed to promote cognitive stimulation and co-creation, with a focus on reminiscence theatre will begin in Southampton and across Hampshire.

Young theatre makers will devise an original piece of theatre using the storytelling created between generations to celebrate life stories whilst raising awareness around dementia.

The final performances will be shared with audiences at MAST Mayflower Studios in Southampton on June 23 and at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham on August 26 and 27.

In year two of the project, the final theatre and film performance will tour across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, engaging with community audiences in schools, colleges, community centres and care homes.

Roots and Branches will be working with service users with dementia through Mayfield Nurseries in Southampton and other dementia services.

Aspiring theatre makers aged 14 to 25 years living in Hampshire can sign up for the project by contacting Theatre for Life.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities.