A restaurant staffed entirely by those with dementia – overseen by Michelin-starred Bristol chef Josh Eggleton – has opened for business on Silver Street. The short-term project, open until 12 December and being filmed by Channel 4, will air in spring 2019.
The ground-breaking new series, supported by The Alzheimer’s Society, hopes to open the eyes of policy makers and employers on a quest to destigmatise dementia.
Inspired by a real-life Japanese pop-up eatery that opened in Tokyo last year, it aims to change how dementia is viewed by supersizing the concept through The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, which will see diners served by individuals living with the condition.
A host of celebrity diners and members of the public will visit the restaurant over a five-week period to put the newly trained staff to the test. Having spent the month prior learning the tricks of the trade, the contributors’ journey will be followed by Channel 4 – expect a sometimes poignant, sometimes funny but overall surprising, feel-good series, as they are put to work in one of the most high-pressure, tough working environments there is.
From CPL Productions, the makers of the BAFTA-nominated Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, and Motion Content Group, co-producers of Channel 4’s Dementiaville, this show has been commissioned to start a wider national conversation about how we think about people who live and work with this increasingly common condition.
The number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over one million by 2025 and it isn’t just a disease that affects the elderly – over 40,000 people with dementia are under the age of 65 and still of working age. A team of experts will oversee the ambitious telly project – which could potentially change how businesses recruit, employ and retain staff who find themselves living with dementia.
“A dementia diagnosis doesn’t, and shouldn’t mean the end of a career,” said Channel 4’s head of features and formats Sarah Lazenby. “This poignant and timely project aims to open the eyes of employers to the importance of keeping those who live with dementia in work by boosting their confidence and independence.”
Executive producer for Motion Content Group, Martin Oxley, added: “With an ever-ageing workforce dementia in the workplace will become a fact of life for so many of us in the years ahead and Motion is delighted to be involved in such an important examination of this issue, in the form of such an innovative format.”
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