About Us

Who we are

Bright Shadow’s mission is to enable people living with dementia, and those affected by it, to live well and to thrive.

Established in 2009, we are experts in creative activities that are fun, meaningful, accessible and challenging. All that we do promotes wellbeing for people living with dementia.

Bright Shadow is passionate about a brighter quality of care, which is invigorating, mood boosting and enhances relationship. We are adamant that life and fun shouldn’t stop once you reach a certain age or receive a diagnosis of dementia. In all of our work we celebrate the here and now, ensuring that people with dementia enjoy a bright today and a bright tomorrow.

What we do

We are experts in creative activities designed specifically for people living with dementia to enable self-expression, social interaction and active participation.

We do this through delivering our trademark Zest Workshops for people living with dementia in care and in community settings. We also provide training to equip those delivering activities with people living with dementia, as well as training to empower churches and arts and culture venues to be dementia inclusive.

We are the creators of Bright Boxes activity resource kits. These enable anyone to enjoy doing creative activities with a person living with dementia, whether in a group or one to one setting.

We believe in relationship centred care and are passionate about caring for those in caring roles, whether as a professional or family member.

We believe

  • In celebrating the here and now
  • That a person’s present and future matters as much as their past
  • In activities that reduce stigma and restore dignity by being interest-based and appropriately challenging
  • In facilitating everyone to take part in activities to the extent of their capacity
  • In relationship-centred care and caring for carers as much as the person living with dementia. Our primary way of doing this is through equipping people with skills, confidence and resources to deliver care that promotes the wellbeing of everyone in the caring relationship
  • In a client-led and person-centred approach
  • In consistent evaluation and research

Our Story

Bright Shadow’s founders Katy and Rhiannon met at the University of Kent in 2005 at a first year Drama and Theatre studies seminar.

Whilst studying for a Masters in Applied Performance, they were put on placement together in a residential home for people with dementia. Having never met a person living with dementia before, both felt rather like fish out of water.

Observing that the most common activity in the care home was sitting silently around the outside edges of a large living room whilst day-time TV blared out, it became apparent that what was needed was an injection of life, laughter, conversation and fun.

After a fruitless foray into the world of reminiscence, they realized that using performance practices in a participatory, person-centered way was a relatively undocumented and un-researched approach. Over 8 weeks running workshops in the dining room they began experimenting, with riotous results.

Having seen the impact the work had for the few individuals they worked with, they wanted to transform every person with dementia’s experience from that of the living room to the dining room. They had a vision of a Brighter Quality of dementia care that was achievable by using creativity and performance.

They decided to set up a company together and after much agony and deliberation over a company name, in March 2009 Bright Shadow was born. The rest as they say, is history.