What a fantastic morning!
On the morning of Wednesday 29th of August Weston museum hosted a family Dementia morning, this coincided with our normal nostalgia café that is held every Wednesday throughout the year.
The morning was aimed at people living with Dementia, carers, and any friends and relations, and especially children. With the support of the Alzheimer’s Society, the museum outreach team and volunteers, North Somerset Library Service, Marion Erison from Communities Connect, Susannah Crook from Creative Minds, and music and singing provided by Mike Measham.
The wonderful courtyard area was set up with various activities including our nostalgia handling collection, looked after by Jackie AKA Nan and Christa, a display of books and publications and tablets available from the Library Service. With some Dementia orientated drawing and colouring resources out to amuse and occupy our younger visitors and Barbara organising the making of badges, and a grand job she did. The learning space was set up with chairs and the necessary tech to facilitate talks and film shows etc,
As soon as the doors opened people started to arrive and initially availed themselves of the fayre available from Clara’s Café after a short settling in period Mike started playing his guitar and singing some of the old songs, we soon had to get more chairs, it was fantastic to see the faces of many of the people light up with recognition of the music and it wasn’t long before they were tapping their toes and joining in, a great ice breaker. We were then availed of some talks by various people, one chap Peter a man living with Dementia spoke about his own experiences living with Dementia making the point very well that life still goes on in many and varied ways and that you can still be a very useful member of the community, many comments that I heard afterwards praised how enlightening it was. Susannah spoke of the thought provoking and therapeutic part that art and things associated with art can play in peoples lives and as with music can take you to happy times. There followed some other speakers on various topics including the library service, as well as many of the resources available in North Somerset. All of these talks were informal and people could come and go as they pleased, the time flew by and before we knew it was time to thank everybody, before Mike played us a few more of his songs to finish up, with some of the ladies bursting into song and a couple were even dancing. I hope in the part of their brain that stores happy their mornings experience with us will lodge there for a while.
I would also like to thank our local paper the Weston Mercury for sending along a photographer to cover the event, a nice spread I hope.
Chris Fisher, volunteer