Dementia has reached epidemic proportions and is now the nation’s biggest killer[i]. Via a ground-breaking new series supported by The Alzheimer’s Society, Channel 4 now plans to open the eyes of policy makers and employers on a quest to destigmatise dementia.

Inspired by a real-life Japanese pop-up restaurant that opened in Tokyo last year, we are looking to change how dementia is viewed by supersizing the concept and opening a restaurant staffed entirely by people living with the condition – The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes.

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, we’ll be following the journey of the contributors in a sometimes poignant, sometimes funny but overall a feel good and surprising series, as they are put to work in one of the most high pressure and tough working environments there is.

From CPL Productions, the makers of the ground-breaking BAFTA nominated Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds and Motion Content Group, co-producers of Channel 4’s Dementiaville. Will The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes (5 x 60’) start a wider national conversation about how we think about people who live and work with this increasingly common condition? And will our contributors want to continue working?

The number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025[ii] and this isn’t just a disease that affects the elderly – over 40,000 people with dementia are under the age of 65[iii]. With so many still of working age, staggeringly only a fifth of them have continued to work post their diagnosis[iv]:

A team of experts will oversee the ambitious project that could potentially change how businesses recruit, employ and retain staff who find themselves living with dementia.

The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes was co-commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Entertainment, Ed Havard and Channel 4’s Head of Features and Formats, Sarah Lazenby. The 5×60 series will be co-produced by CPL Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, and Motion Content Group with executive producers Murray Boland, Danielle Lux, Trish Powell, Benjamin Leigh and Martin Oxley.

Ed Havard, Head of Entertainment at Channel 4 said, “Stand Up To Cancer has grown into a hugely successful Channel 4 brand that shines a light on the millions in this country battling cancer, and the ambition with The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes is no different – to challenge and change attitudes to dementia through an original and innovative series.”

Channel 4’s Head of Features and Formats Sarah Lazenby added, “A dementia diagnosis doesn’t, and shouldn’t mean the end of a career. 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.”

Creative Director for CPL Productions, Murray Boland said, “We are thrilled to be working with Channel 4 on another ground-breaking series which we hope will make a significant contribution to the national conversation about living and working with dementia.”

Executive Producer for Motion Content Group, Martin Oxley said, “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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