The Embrace Project’s ‘Making Memories’ group came full circle this month when we celebrated our 1st year of working together by making a full presentation to over 100 pupils at Holy Family School, Keighley for their PHSE week.
It was actually initiated in July 2017 as a dementia friendly project at the same school for their PHSE week last year, so this time it felt like a real mile stone in our journey, to return and show the school and ourselves just how far we have progressed in our friendship building work with a strong team of local partners.
Our Year 9 Making Memories pupils led the overall presentation with a script that included two older ladies who retold a magical story of their upbringing in India in the 1940s only to return to Keighley years later and find out in 2018, as part of Making Memories, that they had shared similar childhoods!
Stuart, who has Dementia, spoke alongside Sandra of Dementia Friendly Keighley; they are both very keen to make children aware of dementia and take away any fears around being with their elderly grandparents. Stuart was energised and encouraged by his opportunity to speak to pupils, describing the experience as ‘wonderful, fantastic and really lovely!’. He organised a very successful inter-schools football tournament in support of The Alzheimer’s Society in Skipton in June and is now looking to gain interest from schools in Keighley and Crosshills for next years round of competitions.
Arlene, who grew up in India, said: ‘It was a great team effort, being able to produce a presentation of the different aspects of ‘Making Memories’ and one amazing thing we did, was to speak to so many Year 8 children! Hopefully they got the message that we care and would love to share our memories with them, and that we would equally appreciate their wish to learn more about our past and have a better understanding of our getting old and beginning to fail in health and ability. Perhaps a few will be inspired to become carers for the elderly and those with Dementia.’
Luca, one of the pupils said: ‘The talk was informative and interactive and really helped us understand how dementia affects people. They all came across as really kind. I can’t wait to see the film when it’s finished.’