Residents at specialist care village, Belong Wigan, enjoyed a reminiscence afternoon tea, organised and attended by teenagers from the National Citizen Service (NCS). The group had previously taken part in one of the village’s Dementia Friends sessions, that provides skills for supporting individuals living with dementia.
The focal point of the afternoon was a ‘memory tree’ for which the NCS group asked residents to write down a special memory that was then pinned to a leaf on the tree. The youngsters created the memory tree as they had learned that reminiscence therapy has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, stimulating cognitive ability as well as being therapeutic. The tree will remain in the Belong Wigan village.
One NCS group member, said: “Earning my Dementia Friends badge has definitely been the highlight of my summer. I learned so much in the session and really enjoyed interacting with Belong village residents.”
Experience Day Support Worker at Belong Wigan, Tanya Guy, said: “The afternoon was a great success; the residents loved it and the younger people loved it. It was wonderful to see the two generations getting on so well and the NCS members were very pleased that they had attended the Dementia Friends awareness session, so that they could appropriately support our customers.”
NCS runs programmes to encourage participants to launch projects in their local community, and Belong Wigan partners with NCS to run Dementia Friends awareness sessions.
The NCS members have also organised future campaigns in Wigan’s town centre to educate the local community about living with dementia, passing on skills that they learned at Dementia Friends awareness sessions.