Home Places to visit Dementia Action Week at Beamish Museum

Dementia Action Week at Beamish Museum

Join in planting at Orchard Cottage for Dementia Awareness Week. Picture; Beamish Museumn
Join in planting at Orchard Cottage for Dementia Awareness Week. Picture; Beamish Museumn

Gardening one of activities to highlight condition, May 20-26

A packed programme of activities will take place at Beamish Museum for Dementia Action Week, which starts Monday, May 20.

The County Durham open-air museum is to launch a collection of Beamish-themed printed bags created by people living with dementia or other long-term health conditions, who meet at the museum.

Primary school children will join care home residents and support groups to take part in activities, including traditional school lessons, as part of the museum’s intergenerational projects.

Michelle Kindleysides, Head of Health & Wellbeing at Beamish, said: “It’s always fantastic to work in partnership with our local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society and to really promote the message that there is support out there for people living with dementia and their families.”

Members of Beamish’s Men’s Group and Mindset Group, who are living with dementia or other long-term health conditions, have made the tote bags, which will be sold in the gift shop, with proceeds going towards running the groups.

Museum-inspired tote bag project

The members took photos around the museum and then carved printing blocks, which they used to make the bags.

The project was set up by Phd student Jill Brewster, of Northumbria University, as part of her placement at Beamish.

Beamish Men's Group, museum staff and volunteers with Dementia Action Week tote bags. Picture; Beamish Museum
Beamish Men’s Group, museum staff and volunteers with Dementia Action Week tote bags. Picture; Beamish Museum

The groups are part of the museum’s health and wellbeing programmes based at Orchard Cottage, at The 1940s Farm.

The museum has also trained more than 500 Dementia Friends among staff and volunteers.

Video release

Danielle Cooper, Alzheimer’s Society area manager, said: “To mark the week, we have released a video called #AskUsAnything, which features people living with dementia answering questions posed by schoolchildren.

“We are encouraging members of the public to start a conversation with someone they know who has dementia.

“Even in the later stages of dementia when having a conversation might become difficult, keeping in touch can bring feelings of happiness and comfort.”

The Alzheimer’s Society’s #AskUsAnything video is available at https://youtu.be/YYnI_L3mH00.

Dementia Action Week activities

Monday, May 20: Singing for the Brain sessions, led by the Alzheimer’s Society, 1900s Pit Village band hall, 10.30am-noon and 1pm-2.30pm.

Dementia Awareness Week tote bags. Picture; Beamish Museum
Dementia Awareness Week tote bags. Picture; Beamish Museum

Tuesday, May 21: Join in singing during a primary school performance in the band hall at 12.30pm.

Wednesday, May 22: A Music Makers singalong, the band hall from 10.30am-noon and 1pm-2.30pm.

Pottering About at Orchard Cottage

Thursday, May 23: Help with some planting during Pottering About at Orchard Cottage at The 1940s Farm.

Friday, May 24: A gentle 90-minute guided walk, up to three miles, will leave from the entrance at 10am.

Saturday, May 25: A Beamish Hop, with rock ‘n’ roll and ballroom dancing, the band hall, 1pm. The Durham SSAFA armed forces charity and the Alzheimer’s Society will be in The Pit Village School.

Sunday, May 26: Traditional folk music with Singaround Sunday in the band hall from 11am.

Activities are included in admission and are free to Unlimited Pass holders, which are valid for 12 months, and Friends of Beamish members.

Beamish is open daily from 10am to 5pm. For more information, visit www.beamish.org.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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