THE Museum of Somerset in Taunton is staging a programme of events and activities for people with dementia and autism.

The museum hosted its first inclusive afternoon for people who benefit from a quieter visit last Friday ahead of Dementia Action Week, which started on Monday.

The sessions, organised by the Alzheimer's Society in conjunction with the South West Heritage Trust, aim to unite people and communities to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

They feature comfortable lighting, while audio distractions are kept to a minimum and a new sensory station is available together with a quiet contemplation area.

From September, the trust is running ‘Minds Alive!’ sessions based around the museum collections for people with dementia, their families and carers.

John French, from the South West Heritage Trust, said: "Dementia is one the greatest challenges we face, and according to the Alzheimer’s Society the heritage sector has a crucial contribution to make.

"In addition to the new sessions, many of our staff have become dementia friends by taking part in awareness sessions."

Inclusive afternoons take place from 3pm to 5pm every third Friday of the month at the Museum of Somerset.

Minds Alive! are at the museum from 10.30am to 11.30am on September 13, October 11 and November 8.