At our last HOP network meeting we were delighted to be joined by guest speaker Ruth Eley from Life Story Network.
Life Story Network is a Liverpool based CIC established in 2011. They promote life story work, through delivery of a range of training and research projects all over the UK, including one in Anfield. Life story work is complementary to, but distinct from, the kind of reminiscence activity and participatory arts which many HOP members regularly undertake with people who have dementia. It is a one-to-one process which provides people, particularly those who rely on support from family or professional carers, with opportunity to tell and preserve their stories – producing anything from memory boxes, books and wall displays to a simple piece of paper. This helps carers to understand better the needs, preferences and wishes of those they work with, and to treat them as individuals with feelings, skills and knowledge that must be respected. The result is a powerful improvement in the quality of care.
For our network members, Ruth’s talk prompted a strong and positive response. We went on to talk about the importance of music, movement and images in working with people with memory loss, and how the arts can play a vital role in remembering the past and reconnecting with the present.
The Bluecoat will be screening Michael Rossato-Bennett’s fascinating documentary, Alive Inside, for Dementia Week on Thursday 21st May. Described as a “joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity”, the film chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals in the USA who have been revitalised by listening to music. For further details and to book tickets, visit the Bluecoat’s events page.