pictures to share

Key Fund invested working capital in Pictures to Share CIC to help them expand and adapt its business model to increase market-reach.


Pictures to Share CIC create, publish and supply books for people who have dementia. The books encourage meaningful communication with family, friends and carers, can reduce isolation and depression and lead to a better quality of life.

Their story

Since 2005, Pictures to Share have been researching how the right pictures can benefit people with mid to late stage dementia. Their books aim to help family and carers continue to communicate with their loved ones in an enjoyable and meaningful way.

Helen Bate, Managing Director, worked as an Architect before studying illustration. She originally had the idea after her own mother had dementia and she became aware of the lack of resources.

The first three books were developed with the support of charitable sponsors, and were such a success she went on to obtain major funding from the Andrews Charitable Trust to grow the business to a sustainable point.

From printing 3 books in 2006, Pictures to Share have steadily increased its book list to 17 in 2016, increasing reach from a few hundred to up to 250,000 people.

The books are used by people at home, in care homes, day centres, public libraries and in hospitals across the UK and overseas. They are the only organisation in the UK that publishes books designed to be accessible for people with severe dementia.

Pictures to Share supply the books direct to many of their customers, but in 2015 they entered a 2 year contract with book sales and distribution agencies, Global Sales and Macmillan Distribution, to sell the books to the UK book trade and Amazon. This also had the benefit of moving storage and distribution of the books to a specialist provider so allowing Pictures to Share to reduce their overheads and provide more efficient delivery systems.

Key Fund delivered a £60k loan to support Pictures to Share to change the business model to make the product more accessible, and expand the range of available titles to 30 by 2019.


Picture to Share’s uniquely designed books are suitable for the 500,000 people in the UK who suffer with mid to late stage dementia or other cognitive or communication difficulties.

Sales and lending figures indicate the books reach over 100,000 new beneficiaries every year, including those with dementia, their family and carers, creating more meaningful communication, improved relationships or a better quality of life.

Impact includes improved quality of life and communication for those with dementia and their carers, practical help for carers in managing behaviour that may be challenging, maintaining communication between different generations, including young children, through a shared enjoyment of the books. Completely accessible, they are free to access via public libraries, available in all public libraries in England under the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme.

The Key Fund have provided Pictures to Share with two social enterprise loans over the past six years. The current £60K loan allowed us to overcome a temporary period of uncertainty and begin to operate within a competitive publishing marketplace, in a way that allows us to benefit from maximum market opportunities. It has also ensured that we have the best opportunity to remain a sustainable business that can benefit people with dementia for the years to come.”

Helen Bate, founder, Pictures to Share CIC.