Intergenerational Memory Box sessions!

Last week marked the end of our Youth Options NCS Southampton groups of young people. We have had a great summer with 3 groups of teens and hope they have enjoyed the experience.

Each wave group has received a Dementia Friends information session by Erin to give them a good base of knowledge to enable them to create suitable reminiscence resources and activities for their care home visit later in the week. The MBP team have given the young people tips of reminiscence and communication in preparation for their visit to Wilton Manor Care Home Southampton. Each wave has created a different activity based on MBP themes to carry out with the residents of the home.

Wave 1 visited us the week commencing 22nd July, where we had a fun entertainment session planned. The group split into 4 smaller groups, and each took a section of the theme (dance, music, cinema and fashion) to present for 15 mins. We had a demonstration of the Waltz, and the groups all learnt new information about the theme to present. The group then chose to hold an afternoon of painting and drawing and board games, which they brought into the home. Chinese checkers, dominoes and poker seemed to be the resident’s favourites. To top the day off the NCS team had prepared a dance to “Queen’s – Don’t stop me now” for the residents which they performed in the garden!

Wave 2 started with us the week of the 29th July and due to the size of the group were split into 2 smaller teams, one held a childhood reminiscence session in the morning the second a singing show in the afternoon where they had created singalong booklets for the residents to join into. The young people dressed in vintage wear and danced along with the residents to the music of Doris Day, Elvis Presley and even some Oasis!

Wave 4 began their experience with MBP on the week of the 19th August, this time a smaller team they were able to carry out their volunteering as a full group. The home had requested some murals for the residents to enjoy once the NCS teams had stopped visiting so the team began planning their themes and the background decorations on the Monday. Using 2 large canvases, one was created to look like a beach and the other was decorated pale blue paint and splatters to make an abstract background for a memory’s mural. The young people paired up with residents to finish the decorations for both murals, using reminiscence pictures, written memories, Polaroid pictures taken throughout the days, drawings, paintings and letter stickers to add everyone’s name who had taken part. Both the residents and the home were pleased with the artwork created and it will be displayed where all the residents that live there can see.

It has been a very eventful summer and we have enjoyed witnessing the effects intergenerational work can have on both generations. The Young people were able to learn about the people’s personal histories of cooking recipes, dancing venues, holidays as children and memories of school for example and the older generation were able to impart their own knowledge, advice and contribute in all the activities. With the young people’s exam results due, many of the residents reassured them and shared what they had done after school creating meaningful interactions and providing inspiration between the generations. Many of the young volunteers have expressed an interest in continuing to volunteer in the sector either in care homes, with the MBP or learning more about dementia.

We hope to continue to partner with NCS and other youth organisations in the future to continue to create reminiscence based intergenerational interactions in the care environments we work in.

On behalf of the MBP team we hope all the young people that volunteered with us (and all the NCS teams) did well with the exam results and wish you all the best for your futures! Thank you for volunteering with The Memory Box Project 2019!


Group 1 dance to “ Queen’s - don’t stop me now”

Group 1 dance to “Queen’s - don’t stop me now”

Group 2 singing performance

Group 2 singing performance

Group 3 reminiscence art work mural

Group 3 reminiscence art work mural

Erin McMurtry