enriched-1Enriched by Moments is the ‘umbrella’ term for an initiative established at Lakeland Arts to support creative and cultural experiences for people living with dementia. There is an increasing awareness that such experiences can be enormously rewarding and beneficial – stimulating brain activity, aiding communication skills and enhancing feelings of well being. Sessions often trigger memories and enable people to feel more connected to the world around them. All sessions are suitable for people who have always loved looking at art as well as those who might not be regular visitors to art galleries. Everyone is welcomed.

Gallery sessions run on the first Tuesday of every month. These create a supportive environment where everyone’s responses and ideas are valued and celebrated. Each month, the session begins with a cup of tea in the coffee house, followed by walks round the gallery spaces, often returning to familiar objects and artefacts, but also incorporating opportunities to look at new art works. These moments in the gallery generate feelings of curiosity and enjoyment and result in a narrative that captures some dialogue and responses to artworks. Following the session this is emailed to Carers and participants, with an invitation to add more or amend if necessary. This, along with postcards or other visual material, provides a tangible record of the experience which Carers have enjoyed reliving with participants in days following the gallery visit.

enriched-2Outreach activity includes a collaborative project with the Wordsworth Trust which runs on the first three Friday afternoons of each month. ‘In the Moment’ is held at Unit 31 at The Factory on Aynam Road, from 1.30 until 3.30 pm, and includes poetry, story telling and art – a wonderful mix of activity where carers and people with dementia record high levels of enjoyment and the quality of engagement and outcomes are regularly celebrated in exhibitions and conferences.

Creative and cultural experiences can also be delivered in nursing homes and community spaces on request.

Every First Tuesday costs £5.00, Carers are not charged. Friday afternoon In the Moment sessions are now asking participants for a small donation to support provision of art materials and costs of rent.

Enquires to Anne-Marie Quinn, Learning and Engagement Officer, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, email amquinn@lakelandarts.org.uk, Tel 01539 722464

Photography by Flo Acland Photography