PCSO Ella will take starring role on Coventry walking play

A PCSO is turning her hand to acting to help raise awareness of dementia.

Ella Venables is taking part in a walking play through the streets of Coventry as part of City of Culture events this weekend.

Ella Venables
PCSO Ella Venables

The play, called Theatre of Wandering, will explore real-life experiences of supporting someone with dementia. It will follow the main character, an elderly man as he takes a typical journey through Coventry city centre, visiting a range of shops.

Ella will be playing herself and hopes to put her own experiences of dealing with dementia to good use.

She said: “My role in the play will come fairly late on as the police don’t find themselves involved until a number of avenues of support have been explored.

“The character will be very confused, lost and looking for his wife. As his confusion grows he’ll become a concern for a number of people who come into contact with him. This is what happens in real life and then the police might get a call to assist. This play will represent that journey.

“My part will be to highlight our role in providing support and I hope to draw on previous experience I’ve had helping a man who spent four hours on a bus looking for his wife, not remembering she had sadly died.”

A Theatre of Wandering will be performed twice each day over the weekend of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September.

As the play progresses through the city, it is hoped that it’ll attract attention from bystanders who will want to find out more about what is going on. A range of professionals, including some of our officers, will be on hand to offer more information.

Sergeant Julie Harrison, from the City of Culture policing team, says: “There will be a number of opportunities during the play to engage with communities about dementia and how we, as police, try to help and refer people to specialist professionals, especially how we safeguard individuals if we deal with job which involves dementia.”

Health professionals will also be on hand offering help and advice to anyone who is affected by dementia in anyway or needs extra support.

Ella’s input in the theatre production will coincide with some Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training sessions being hosted by clinical psychologists and dementia nurses for Coventry PCSOs and neighbourhood officers about best practice when dealing with someone with dementia, in addition to safeguarding and referral mechanisms.


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