Care Home staff and residents create award winning memory box

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Field View care home resident Sylvia Churchill with a item from  the memory wedding box.
Field View care home resident Sylvia Churchill with a item from the memory wedding box.

A recent project has helped Blackhall Colliery care home residents bring back some wonderful memories and create some new ones too – after being named as regional winners in a competition to design their own memory box.

Field View care home, a 38 bedded home which offers residential care for the elderly and those living with dementia, created their wining wedding-themed reminiscence box with the help of staff, residents, families and visitors who donated items.

Resident discussed memories of their own wedding day and attending the weddings of others to come up with ideas. Items included traditional good luck charms, vintage fine bone china tea set and silver cutlery that would have been used at the wedding dinner, wedding photos and English wedding dresses, veils and garters including a 1960’s wedding dress.

While the bride is usually the star of the day, the gents at Field View also contributed with traditional groom attire, tie pin and cuff links also included.

The memory box was given an international flair by including traditional African and Chinese wedding attire, photos of Hindu wedding ceremony, incense sticks and Henna.

The competition, dubbed the ‘Memory Box Challenge’, was organised by UK Care Providers the Maria Mallaband Care Group and Countrywide Care homes to launch the start if their Dementia Strategy Project 2016.

Jack Trowell
Jack Trowell

The group’s 70 care homes across England, Scotland and Ireland took part with each given a budget of £50 to product a memory box containing a collection of items to help stimulate activity, conversation and positive feelings and memories.

The final decision on winners was made based on the content ,smells and tastes included, level of activity and  involvement of residents and families, I’s usefulness in future on-going reminiscence activity and the ability to pass on the box as an activity resource to share with other homes.

Care Manager Michelle Howarth has been delighted with the response to their memory box project: “Whilst having a great deal of fun and a great talking point around our home we also discovered that our residents had lots of stories and tales to tell of times gone by.”

“The memory box brought back many happy memories for our residents. They were enthralled by the beauty of the present day weddings gowns included in our display. The ladies compared them to those which they had worn on their own wedding day, many of our ladies were married in suits as the war years were a time of great austerity and the rationing of goods was enforced.”

“We recently had a resident celebrating her diamond wedding anniversary so we also included details on anniversaries in our memory box. We found that there are many traditional gifts which should be given to mark certain anniversaries, like paper and wood, which seem now to becoming replaced with more modern style options, we researched this and included gifts both traditional and modern.”

“Field View’s Wedding memory box has proved to be a great asset to our home and we are thrilled to have taken part in this challenge.”

Following the success of their wedding-themed memory box the home has went on to create another vintage memory box containing household items, toys and ornaments.

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