Just out today. A dementia tool kit designed for small to medium museums. Developed by the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery based on a research project with the Alzheimer’s Society in West Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University (the project was also a finalist in the 2015 Dementia Friendly Awards, and is entered into the Kent Dementia Friendly awards 2015). Please feel free to distribute as you think helpful to your colleagues.
“The first thing to say about this toolkit is that it is… well, a toolkit. It is not intended as an evaluation, or as a simple exercise in sharing best practice. This toolkit has been written to help small museums design their own wellbeing programmes, and is based on a project undertaken with that same thought in mind.
It is hoped that by reading and digesting the information contained here you will gain a better understanding not only of how to undertake initiatives like this yourself, but of the important role museums play in the mental health and wellbeing of their communities. In recent times, this much discussed role has frequently been explored, with very well funded projects around the UK. These have been encouraged by the Prime Minister’s 2014 Challenge on Dementia, and the startling revelation that dementia costs the UK £23.6 billion every year, and about 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia. This figure is set to rise to well over 1 million by the year 2025.
But what part can museums play long term? And what of all the smaller museums that don’t have the time or resources to undertake these projects? At time of writing there were 257 museums working within the National Accreditation Scheme in the South East,* over half of which are independent volunteer run organisations – imagine the number of people who could benefit from a way of working that is truly usable by all.”
The project outlined in this toolkit was designed – it is hoped – to answer these questions and find that way. *Courtesy of Arts Council England