Dementia Friendly

Dementia Friendly

Reminiscence workshops, Sing for Victory workshops and Reminiscence loan boxes

The NIWM has been offering engaging experiences for people living with Dementia since 2014. All staff have completed Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Awareness training delivered by the Northern Ireland Museums Council and have gained significant experience in developing and delivering Dementia Friendly programmes. Object handling and music are key to our Dementia Friendly workshops.

Reminiscence Workshops

The museum offers a range of reminiscence workshops for older people. These workshops highlight objects from the museum’s collection and have been designed to be informative and engaging for all. Reminiscence workshops are based on the home front in Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

Workshops can be arranged to take place in the museum or in the meeting place of a group (e.g. a care home, a church or a community hall) and they last approximately one hour.

Discussions normally relate to:

  • Childhood and toys
  • pastimes and hobbies
  • food and family routines
  • rationing, austerity and make do and mend
  • the Belfast Blitz
  • the presence of GIs in Northern Ireland from 1942

Every workshop is different, depending on the interests, needs and memories of the group. Reminiscence sessions are suitable for small groups of up to 10 people around a table and will involve object handling and the sharing of memories. A reminiscence workshop can be complemented with song, music and movement.

Workshops are free of charge

Booking required

All staff have completed dementia awareness training with the Alzheimer’s Society and the museum is registeted as working to become Dementia Friendly.

For more information or to make a booking, email or call 028 9032 0392

Please outline the group’s size, meeting place, needs and specific interests

Reminiscence Workshop at NIWM

Sing for Victory Workshops

Participatory activities such as singing can be enjoyable and engaging for people living with Dementia and their carers. Building on the well-known preserved memory for song and music in the brain, the museum has worked with Music Therapist Karen Diamond to create a singing and reminiscence workshop which focuses on songs from the 1940s.

The museum is offering regular Sing for Victory workshops throughout 2020 on the following dates:

Friday 6th March

Friday 3rd April

Friday 1st May

Friday 4th September

Friday 2nd October

Friday 6th November

Friday 4th December

Visit the museum to look back at life during the Second World War and to sing-along to songs from the 1940s, accompanied by live piano performances by Karen Diamond.

Workshops are free to attend; but booking is required. Tea, coffee and refreshments are provided, and the museum is fully wheelchair accessible.

Reminiscence Loan Boxes

Reminiscence Loan Box NIWM

Loan boxes can stimulate curiosity and provide a hands-on approach to learning. Activity therapists and community group leaders can borrow a reminiscence loan box from the museum.

Our loans boxes focus on life during the Second World War and include objects from our handling collection, photographs, background information, ideas for activities and guidance notes for use.

Memories of wartime and childhood are triggered by objects such as an air raid warden’s helmet, a gas mask, children’s storybooks, a well-loved doll, a darning mushroom and clothing coupons.

This is a free service, available to groups of all ages.

  • Only one box can be borrowed at a time
  • Booking required
  • Boxes are on loan for a maximum of two weeks
  • Boxes must be collected and returned to the museum

To book, contact or 028 9032 0392

Kindly supported by the Northern Ireland Museums Council

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