Residents, apartment tenants and Experience Day customers came together at specialist care village, Belong Crewe, for a reminiscence event created by Cheshire East Council Community Development Officer Deb Lindop and the Silver Rainbows older people’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Network.
The event used memory boxes which contained vintage artefacts including ration books, photographs, clothing and household items. The memory boxes act as a form of reminiscence therapy that has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, stimulating cognitive ability as well as being therapeutic. The memory boxes are available for hire through Cheshire Libraries.
The session aimed to prompt memories from residents and also raise awareness for the older LGBT community in Cheshire by encouraging people to share personal experiences since the Second World War.
The workshop, which was run by Body Positive and Cheshire East, was part of the wider Silver Rainbows project, which is working to create a touring exhibition including stories and artefacts about the LGBT older community in Crewe.
Colin Avery, from the Silver Rainbows Network, said: “Research into older LGBT people in Cheshire has shown that many people are facing an uncertain future and potentially worried that social care services are not equipped to recognise their needs or life experiences.
“The workshop that we held at Belong Crewe was a wonderful way of sharing the history of the community and offering an opportunity for people to listen and open up to one another about their life experiences. We are looking forward to sharing these experiences and others with a wider audience at our Take Pride in Ageing conference at Chester Town Hall on Thursday 13th July.”
Sharon Bull, Belong Crewe experience coordinator, added: “The Silver Rainbows workshop was a very interesting and engaging experience for everybody involved – it was lovely to see the memory boxes prompting memories from residents and we’re very glad to have had the opportunity to contribute to the Silver Rainbows project.”