Reminiscence Arts Workshops
Since founding The Memory Book Company in 2010, I’ve seen the enormous benefits the life story process brings to my clients. It’s now estimated that one in six people over the age of eighty is living with some form of dementia, so I wanted to gain a greater insight into this condition in order to explore new and better ways of working.
I took part in a six month training in reminiscence arts practice, as part of an apprenticeship programme (with the European Reminiscence Network, in partnership with the University of Greenwich and Westminster Arts). The training focused on arts-based reminiscence practice with a person-centred approach for people living with dementia and their carers.
Since qualifying as a facilitator in Reminiscence Arts in Dementia care, I’ve been working on a number of reminiscence projects, including a series of creative workshops over a six week period, creating Musical Memory Boxes with participants at the Pullen Centre in Pimlico, in London. The project was designed and delivered with a very talented artist, called Iris Musel and was a great success. All the participants thoroughly enjoyed the process and were completely amazed and thrilled with their beautiful boxes. I received this lovely testimonial from Kathryn Gilfoy, Director Westminster Arts.
“Sarah is a thoughtful and highly professional artist and facilitator. She is hardworking and caring, showing great attention to detail in planning how best to offer an exciting and interactive experience for people living with dementia. Sarah started each workshop with a poetry session, which introduced the theme, helping people to buy into the session through group and solo reciting, call and response, singing, movement etc. Bringing an immediacy and laughter to the room, this enabled the group to relax and enjoy themselves and also meant that people were able to contribute at different levels and showcase different skills. The passing round of relevant objects also helped them to focus on the artwork they were about to make. Sarah’s oral history skills were put to use in facilitating life story work which featured in the art pieces. She worked hard to ensure the art making was accessible to the group of varied abilities, and this showed in the very lovely and personal finished artwork.”
I am collaborating with fellow Reminiscence Arts Practitioner and oral historian, Sarah Gudgin, to work on exciting new projects exploring and capturing memories and life stories through enjoyable and creative reminiscence.
Our joint experience, creative skills and passion for life stories have brought us together to create ‘The Life Story Tree’ – an exciting new venture to develop and lead tailor made workshops for older people, people living with dementia, their carers and their families.
We offer bespoke series of programmes for care homes, retirement communities, museums and community organisations. Our workshops are lively, fully participational and great fun. They are also a fantastic way to celebrate lives, develop relationships and record precious personal memories both for families and for carers in order to ensure real person centred care, now or in the future.
If you would like to hear more or are interested in booking us to hold a Life Story Tree Workshop please get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The two Sarahs!