Outreach

Outreach and Dementia Friendly Workshops

The museum offers informative and engaging outreach workshops that bring objects and photographs from the museum collection to community groups, older people, their carers and people who are living with Dementia. We aim to make our workshops engaging, enjoyable and multi-sensory with museum object handling, music and movement.

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.

Workshops can be comprised of the following activities (please choose one when booking):

Reminiscence

Reminiscence can improve a person’s emotional well-being. In our Reminiscence workshops we use objects and photographs from the museum collection to stimulate conversation about the past. Reminiscence workshops are based on the home front in Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

While our activities are limited, we can bring the museum to you with a FREE virtual workshop. We currently offer two types of workshops:

Virtual Reminiscence Workshops

Our Outreach Officer Michael is connecting with groups virtually to offer workshops which would normally take place in our museum. Reminiscence workshops highlight objects from the museum’s collection and are based on the Home Front in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Using museum objects and a PowerPoint presentation, Michael encourages conversations about:

  • 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. Virtual workshops are FREE and last up to 40 minutes. They are suitable for groups up to 10 people. They work best when all participants can see the screen (you might consider connecting your computer or laptop to a TV screen).

To take part in a virtual workshop you will need:

  • a Wi-Fi connection
  • a computer with a camera and microphone
  • at least one staff member/ cater who can be present throughout the workshop

To arrange a workshop please email outreach@niwarmemorial.org.

When it is safe to do so again, workshops can be arranged to take place in the museum or in the meeting place of a group (e.g. care home, a church or a community hall) and they last approximately one hour.

Virtual Sing for Victory

Sing for Victory is a singing and reminiscence workshop that we normally offer in the museum once a month. Our Outreach Officer Michael is connecting with groups of older people to offer this workshop virtually. Participants sing songs from the 1940s and reminisce about the past with Music Therapist Karen Diamond.

Virtual workshops are FREE and last 1 hour. They are suitable for groups of up to 10 people. They work best when all participants can see the screen (you might consider connecting your computer or laptop to a TV screen).

To take part in a workshop you will need:

  • a Wi-Fi connection
  • a computer with a camera and microphone
  • at least one staff member/carer who can be present throughout the workshop.

To arrange a workshop please email outreach@niwarmemorial.org.

We look forward to inviting you to visit the museum when it is safe again, 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.

Craft Activities

Why don’t you ask our Outreach Officer Michael about incorporating a craft activity into your virtual workshop?

Using objects from the museum collection for inspiration, our craft sessions focus on enjoying the activity, not on making a perfect finished piece. The workshops are simple, safe and sensory.

Email outreach@niwarmemorial.org for more information.

Free Sing for Victory CD

NIWM Sing for Victory CD

We have produced a Sing for Victory CD and accompanying songbook for older people to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.

We have produced this CD as we are currently unable to offer our monthly Sing for Victory singing and reminiscence workshops in the museum… so we’re bringing the fun to you with a free CD!

Sing for Victory features 18 wartime songs to raise morale, with vocals by music therapist Karen Diamond and Singer Emma O’Dornan.

To request a FREE copy, please email outreach@niwarmemorial.org providing your postal address and outlining how you plan to use the CD.

We’ve also produced an accompanying songbook which contains the lyrics and some suggested chair-based exercise suitable for older people to try. It is available to download and print in two font sizes:

The exercises are taken from Love to Move, an age and dementia friendly seated gymnastics programme developed by the British Gymnastics Foundation. The exercises are designed to get older people moving and can be done either individually or as part of a small group. You can find step-by-step instructions for the exercises in the Love to Move exercise booklet which can be downloaded here: https://britishgymnasticsfoundation.org/lovetomove./.

The booklet contains important information about exercising safely at home. It is suggested that individuals and staff in care homes and folds download the exercise booklet and encourage older people to do the exercised along to the music.

We hope this Sing for Victory CD and songbook will raise people’s spirits in these difficult times by keeping them active and stimulating memories.

We’d love to hear how you are using this resource so if you have any feedback, please email our Outreach Officer, Michael Fryer at outreach@niwarmemorial.org or share your experience on our Facebook page.

Visit our YouTube Channel for Reminiscence Videos:

Memories at the Museum

Memories at the Museum has been created to help staff in care homes and folds to facilitate reminiscence sessions with their residents. It can also be used in other settings where reminiscence activities are being held for groups of older people.

The video features objects relating to the Second World War which can act as triggers to stimulate discussion in a reminiscence session.

The video is designed to be dementia-friendly but can also be used to stimulate enjoyable conversations with people who do not have dementia.

We have created some guidance notes which suggest simple techniques for facilitators to help older people take part in an enjoyable reminiscence group activity.

VE Day Remembered with Music and Memories

We created VE Day Remembered with Music and Memories in time for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. In this film you will hear a selection of spoken memories of VE Day in 1945, which we have collected through The War and Me Oral History Project. These important stories are complemented by wartime songs performed by Karen Diamond and Belfast Telegraph images of VE Day. We hope you enjoy singing along. If you have a wartime story you would like to add to our collection, please get in touch.

How was VE Day celebrated in Northern Ireland?

Earlier this year, we worked with Northern Ireland Screen to digitise some recently found cine film footage which was recorded in Belfast on VE Day in 1945. Like many great things, the footage was discovered in a biscuit tin by the filmmaker’s grandson, Clive, who has kindly donated the footage and original camera to our museum collection.

Reminiscence Loan Boxes – temporarily suspended

Reminiscence Loan Box

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

Our loan 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 is required
  • Boxes are on loan for a maximum of two weeks
  • Boxes must be collected and returned to the museum

To book contact, manager@niwarmemorial.org or telephone 028 9032 0392.

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