Updated: Friday, 29th May 2020 @ 6:20am

Living with memory loss: New Manchester library workshop to combat dementia with arts

Living with memory loss: New Manchester library workshop to combat dementia with arts

| By Mary Naylor

A new creative reading initiative to aid dementia sufferers and their families in coping with memory loss will arrive at Central Library next week.

The free-to-attend 'Storybox – Story Explorers' sessions will be held fortnightly at the city centre library and will use poetry and stories to inspire creative activities such as music, creative writing and art.

The Storybox project emerged after the Library Theatre Company wanted to see how the spontaneity and creativity of theatre could engage with those suffering from dementia.

Liz Postlethwaite, Creative Director for Small Things said: “The group will combat isolation and loneliness for older people and all those living with memory loss by providing a much needed opportunity for them to come together and enjoy themselves.”

Storybox at Tameside Hospital from Small Things on Vimeo.

Research has shown that participation in creative activities has helped people living with memory loss, increasing the ability to recall life events and face-name recognition.

The arts are also a way to lift spirits and allow self-expression, helping people to make cognitive and emotional connections.

The sessions will allows participants to create shared experiences with one another, affirm their sense of self and improve their self-confidence.

But perhaps most importantly the sessions hope to improve mental capacity by imposing demands on memory, decision making and problem solving.

A representative of the Older People’s Mental Health Nursing at Manchester University added: “Storybox is unique in that it not only gives people a participatory role, but allows the workshop to be somewhat participant-led.”

All sessions are free of charge and are open to anyone living with memory loss along with their friends and family.

The group will start on Tuesday April 11 from 11am-12pm at the Central Library, St Peter’s Square, M2 5PD. Sessions will then run fortnightly until July 21.

More information can be found on Small Things' website or by contacting Liz Postlethwaite on 07941 218 435 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm or emailing her.

Image courtesy of Small Things, via Vimeo, with thanks