Suitcase Stories 2 is an 18 month reminiscence and music project for people living with dementia and their carers in the Wyre Forest, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wychavon districts running from November 2018 to September 2020.

During the life of the project there was 63 fortnightly community sessions in Evesham, Kidderminster and Redditch at museums and community centres, 60 sessions in care homes, 12 monthly music workshops at The Artrix in Bromsgrove, CPD training for the lead artists, mentoring for 3 students or early career musicians and a symposium in March 2020 for the arts, health and museum sector. (postponed until a later date)

The artists were Heather Wastie, Deborah Rose and Tristan Pate. They each composed at least three new songs from the reminiscences which were recorded and are available online. They also performed them at 3 dementia cafes and at the symposium. A short documentary film was made to help evaluate the project alongside a full evaluation of the outcomes of the project.

The fortnightly sessions were on Monday’s at The Museum of Carpet, Kidderminster 10.30am-12.30pm, Forge Mill Museum, Redditch Monday’s 2.30pm-4.30pm and Wallace House Community Centre Fridays 10.30am to 12.30pm. £2.50 a session (to include refreshments) community sessions leaflet (these have finished for now)

The monthly sessions were on 2nd Tuesday of the month from 1.30pm to 2.45pm costs £2.50 a session (to include refreshments)Music Dementia Workshops leaflet 2018 (these have finished for now)

All sessions were accompanied by a carer or family member.

We had 3 music students or early career musicians that were mentored by the lead artists for 4 month periods. If you are interested in community music and working with people living with dementia in a care home or community setting get in touch as there will be more opportunities. More information is here mentoring advert

Also we worked with volunteers at our monthly and fortnightly sessions. We are always looking for more volunteers to help with other projects. Contact Jenny for more information.Volunteer job description

We also have a FREE online symposium about the project with films from all of our speakers and a link to the full evaluation report. Hear from the artists, project manager/evaluator, participants, reminiscence worker and Museums Worcestershire’s Learning Manager. There was also a Zoom Q and A session about the project on 29th September from 10.30am to midday. The recording of this is on the Symposium web page. Click here for the symposium .

This project was generously funded by Arts Council, Elmley Foundation, Bransford Trust, Wyre Forest District Council, Redditch Borough Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Worcestershire County Council, Wyre Forest Legion Trust, John Martins Trust and Museums Worcestershire.

See the short documentary about this project here

Listen to the new songs created from the memories here

If you want further information contact Jenny Davis, Project Manager 07946 585978

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