Reading Well, Books on Prescription for Dementia is a new scheme which is looking to introduce a collection of books on and around dementia offering guidance, support, advice and activities for people with dementia and their carers to access. The aim of the new service is to reduce the stigma associated with dementia. The new scheme will launch in February in all St Helens Libraries, following on from the national campaign launch in January 2015. The launch event took place on the second of February at St Helens Central Library and featured stalls from dementia and mental health support services offering information and advice. Following the official launch there was the Reminiscence Karaoke session featuring guest singers with the aim of classic songs engaging people with dementia and helping to stir their memories. The event was also attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens who had no reservations about joining in! For further details on the reading well scheme please click here
As part of the ‘30 Years of project‘ from Re-dock, St Helens Ex-miners were treated to a visit to the National coal mining museum in Wakefeild. The visit included a guided tour down the original Caphouse Colliery mine which is about the height of the Blackpool tower underground. The miners thoroughly enjoyed the trip and had allot to talk about with the guide who himself was an ex-miner. Non ex-miners learned about the atrocious working conditions down the pit which was cramped, dark, dusty, loud and often in sweltering heat. The trip was a brilliant opportunity for the ex-miners of St Helens to reminisce and for non ex-miners to learn anew of the hardships, struggles and victories of mining as well as the huge impact it has had on all of our collective histories.
The sell out Stand up to Stigma project rounded up on Friday 16th January at St Helens Central Library with professional stand-up comic, Sam Avery as well as local comedy newcomers. This event was the finale to a six week comedy course involving people with lived experience of mental health issues. Further details on the Stand up to Stigma project can be found here. A huge thank you to all involved in Stand Up To Stigma and to everyone who came along on the night!
30 Years of.. is a new creative heritage project for the ex-mining community in St.Helens. This activity combines heritage and creative technology, it is suitable for people of all ages, from 8 to 98. This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures. Re-Dock & MCQN ltd., are working with the ex-mining community of St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of intelligent mining artifacts. Further details can be found here.
The ‘Other Ways Of Telling’ workshops at Addaction is mid project and progressing brilliantly. On Friday the group, along with facilitator, Aiden Jolly, started laying down a track that the recovery group had written.
The level of creativity and musicianship from this particular group is great with clients playing and singing solely on the track.
Carole of course is laying down the vocals with Frank on Bass, Jimmy on guitar and Neil putting down a rhythm that the band ‘Santana’ would have been proud of.
The track for me has a ‘Allman Brothers’ feel to it and when I left the group they were writing the powerful lyrics to it. I for one just cant wait to hear the final performance.
The psd/helena referral group have 2 new members, Estelle and Heather. Both ladies came along to a Dream talk delivered by Gary the cultural Coordinator and asked could they get more involved in cultural activities. Both ladies suffer with OCD, low level MH and social isolation. The ladies have recently started to live independently and have been having confidence issues going out and using public transport.
Gary has been personally taking the ladies to the group but last week was unavailable due to being in Birmingham. Both ladies have been enjoying the classes so much and have made friends with other ladies from Helena and the PSD referral group decided that they were going to go themselves on public transport !!!
Both ladies arranged to meet up at the bus stop together and have one of the Helena group meet them at the other end when they got off the bus. It was a great achievement by all to do this and not only is the art flourishing but also the social aspects and the confidence it brings.
The bi monthly ‘reminiscence Karaoke’ took place at Age UK in the Mansion House St Helens in July. 5 local acts gave their own time up to come and entertain a 55 strong crowd of Dementia sufferers and their carers.
One of the acts, Rick Ashcroft, (pictured) is a former finalist on ‘britain’s got talent’ and we are so lucky to have him perform in his lunch hour !!! Rick enthraled the crowd with the Walker Brothers ‘The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore’, Van Morrisons ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and The Drifters, ‘Up On The Roof’. Once again a great and rewarding afternoon giving 3 minutes of memories to everyone.