Living Words

Working with people
affected by dementias, including
isolated individuals
& communities
since 2007.


Living Words is an arts and literature organisation, created by Susanna Howard in 2007.

We conduct residencies in care and nursing homes, community settings, arts centres, day centres, libraries, theatres and hospitals. Our writers and artists work one-to-one in creative partnership with people experiencing a dementia, as well as other isolated, and disempowered people. We run workshops to support creative expression, embedding the use of our Living Words books.

Living Words acts to enable participants in communicating their experience, and being heard by others in the moment. At the end of Living Words projects, participants have assembled a book of their own "Living Words" as an expression of their feelings about life. The main part of our work is care home residencies, taking place over 8 to 15 weeks.

Our original exploratory process at St.Thomas’ Hospital has been honed over time, becoming our "Listen Out Loud" methodology; a person-centred approach and programme we are taking throughout the UK and beyond.

As we all continue to live alongside this pandemic, Living Words will be offering courses for professional care home staff to learn and implement our ‘Listen Out Loud’ methodology.
Beginning in May 2022, the courses will be six weeks long, with attendees committing to one weekly group session, with homework between groups. From June, the courses will be CPD accredited.
An article about the courses, including findings from our Culture Cubed evaluation, has now been published in the January 2022 of the Journal of Dementia Care
If this is of interest to you, or you know someone who would benefit from taking part, email us at to start the conversation. We’re all ears.
Our nationwide project is out in the world as a book!


Bringing The Inside Out


Bringing The Inside Out worked with carers, residents, and relatives to pilot working remotely with carers/activity coordinators, and for them to trial our way of working one to one with residents with a dementia.
You can purchase the book Bringing The Inside Out – the words of people with a dementia, professional care staff, and relatives, about the impact of the pandemic on them all.
We are so grateful to our funders – Arts Council England, Kent Community Foundation, FHCLCT, Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Coronavirus Community Support Fund, and The National Lottery for this.
For more information on our courses for professional carers in 2022, click here to send us an email.
Watch & find out more about the Living Warriors films & Living Warriors: Covid Project HERE.
For more information on the Bringing the Inside Out care home project, click here to send us an email.


Places our work has appeared, includes:


BBC Radio Kent

Folkestone Libraries

Folkestone Living Advent Calendar

Folkestone Fringe events

KCC, County Hall Maidstone

Normal? Festival of the Brain

Quarterhouse Folkestone


Alzheimer’s Society

BBC Ideas 
BBC Radio 3

British Library

Central School of Speech and Drama
Central St. Martins

Cockpit Theatre

Free Word Centre

Gallery @OXO South Bank
Middlesex University - Improbable’s 'Global Improvisation Initiative'

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain


Norwich Theatre

Nottingham University

Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank Centre)

Royal Academy of Music

Royal Society of Public Health conference

Salford University

Stratford Literary Festival

Tabernacle London


UK Dementia Congress

Wellcome Collection

Westminster Council House


British Council, Taiwan

National Theatre of Taiwan (NTCH)

AIN at Alan Alda’s Centre for Communicating Science, New York


Our partners and funders have included:


Alzheimer's Society Ashford, Creative Folkestone, Folkestone Fringe, Folkestone Libraries, Folkestone Town Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Hythe Dementia Awareness Forum, Kent County Council, Kent Community Foundation, KMPT NHS, Medway Council, Martello Fund, Profound Sound Festival, Walker Construction


Arts Council, Arts 4 Dementia, Created Out of Mind - UCL Dementia Research Centre/Wellcome, Danuta Lipinska, English PEN, FHCLCT, Mandy Barnet Associates, Resonate Arts, The Sick of The Fringe (now Something To Aim For), Wellcome, Westminster Memory Service 


British Council, East Side Institute, New York


365+ Living Words Books

People who work one-to-one with one of our Living Words writers will co-create and receive a copy of their own Living Words book. Staff and family also receive a copy, and we are able to share the book with family and friends, as a pdf. Plus we have so far published 2 anthologies - 'The Things Between Us', and 'Living Warriors'.


34+ Productions, Films, Podcasts...

Helping our participants’ words reach a wider audience, we take their words and place them centre stage in our productions in theatre, performance, film, radio, installation and through our upcoming podcast venture. Check out our most recent set of films - Living Warriors.

250+ Live Events

Co-creating ‘Normal? Festival of the Brain’, we’re proud to work alongside Creative Folkestone and Folkestone Fringe to bring this festival to Kent. Watch this space for more info about the new 2020/21 programme.


What Else?

In 2018 we formed a partnership with East Kent arts organisations Ideas Test, Folkestone Fringe, Future Foundry and Moving Memory. Their work is also focussed on social impact and so, led by Mandy Barnet Associates, we explored the best way for us all to evaluate our own work, in a way that also speaks to commissioners. Initially funded by KCC, this work became Culture Cubed evaluation guidelines. We look forward to sharing this way of working with organisations across the UK. #IsYourCultureCubed?



About us

Arts and literature charity working with people experiencing dementia and isolated people.

Call us: +44 (0)7967 502 506
Call us: +44 (0)7967 502 506