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Casting Call: Dementia and Friendship Documentary

Submitted by Guest Contributor
Jen Logan
Beyond Mother Love

Participate in a Documentary About Dementia and Friendship

When our newborn son was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, and then 4 years later, after still not speaking at all, was diagnosed with Autism, my husband and I held one fear for him more than any other: would our son ever be able to experience real friendship?

Or, would he be forever limited to the love of his family and the support of paid carers? As long as he lived in a country with a welfare system he would be looked after by someone – yes, but would anyone besides us ever enjoy him?

We wanted to find out if there are people in the world who have friendships and share their lives with those who have cognitive impairments, learning disabilities or Dementia and if so, what is it like?

Beyond Mother Love

This question launched Beyond Mother Love – a feature documentary and qualitative research study in partnership with Vue Cinemas and King’s College London that follows our family’s quest to find people who have chosen to be friends with or share their lives with those who have cognitive impairments of some kind that affects how they socialise and how they communicate.

We began our UK wide casting call this year. We reached out to charities, faith groups, clubs and schools to find mixed-ability friendship groups among anyone five years old and above. We have received a large number of nominations from friendship groups with people with learning disabilities or brain injuries, but we have not yet heard from any friendship groups between people with Dementia and people without it.

Dementia Community Invited

We would love to meet with any groups of three or more friends where one person within the group has the condition to the extent that their cognition, communication and way of socialising has altered. We would particularly love to hear from long standing friendships that began before the person developed the condition.

This is because we want to learn about how the friendships within the group have been changed through the experience of Dementia; what new ways of communicating or relating have been needed to sustain the relationships.

No Experience Needed

Participants do not need to have any experience being on camera and we are not looking for anything idealistic – whether your experience has been good, bad or a mixture of both, we would love to hear from you.

Creative Documentary Teaser

Beyond the Beyond

The second part of Beyond Mother Love is a research study conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. In the same way, the research team is interested in learning about both the benefits and challenges of having this kind of friendship. Each participant will be invited to an interview (either in person or over zoom) and any necessary provisions will be made to accommodate the needs of the participants.

Our hope for both the documentary and the research study is to help highlight the importance of mixed-ability friendships as part of the wider principle of social inclusion and to help us all understand better how these unique friendships can work.

If you or anyone you know would be great for this project we would love to hear from you.

Get in Touch

Jen, David, Tate (1) and Aoife (3)

Our Beyond Mother Love website includes a nomination form or you can email me, Jen Logan directly at

We are based in London but can travel UK wide to meet with nominees where they live.

Our family: Jen, David, Tate (1) and Aoife (3).



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