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News & Events
Reminiscence Centre Events

See the Centre Events page for details of current and future events at the Reminiscence Centre and Bakehouse Building in Blackheath Village.

Children of the Great War logoAge Exchange Theatre presents "Children of The Great War"

Over the past year Age Exchange have been working on a major WW1 reminiscence project recording over 125 family stories across London. Some of these extraordinary memories will form the basis of an intergenerational theatre production with music and dance including some of the original storytellers as performers in a unique piece of theatre.

August 1 - 7.00pm
August 2 - 3.00pm

Bridewell Theatre
14 Bride Ln, London EC4Y 8EQ
Nearest overground and underground station Blackfriars

Tickets £5.00

Show will last approx. 90 minutes

To book tickets email or Or telephone Age Exchange on : 020 8318 9105


Children of the Great War is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund

Briedewell Theatre interior photo

HLF logoThe Bridewell Theatre opened in 1994, breathing new life and purpose into a long derelict Victorian swimming pool. Currently we are a “receiving house”, just about anyone can hire the facilities and put on a show here. Our annual program includes productions by amateurs, professionals, colleges, schools, opera companies, magicians, lecturers, the entire show business spectrum. Additionally, since 2005, we are home to Lunchbox, a bite sized slot where local City workers can bring their own food and drink and enjoy a forty five minute performance, satisfying the mind as well as the appetite.

Age Exchange launches Children of The Great War

Age Exchange, the leading British charity working in the field of Reminiscence Arts has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to deliver a London wide creative programme on the First World War. The focus of the project will be on memories and experiences of the War passed down through families and across communities.

websiteVisit the project website at and follow our project pages on Facebook > and Twitter >

The project, Children of The Great War, will centre on the Home Front, and how family and community life was directly affected by the war, through participation in it, the loss and trauma families experienced at the time, as well as the effect it had on subsequent generations. Age Exchange will work with many partner organisations across London to record and share family histories from a diverse range of communities - telling the untold stories of the War and how it affected people in the city.

"We have worked for over a year to create the partnerships necessary to enable such an ambitious project to succeed,” commented David Savill, Artistic Director of Age Exchange. “To have the opportunity to work so closely with the London public and to enable many younger and older people to share family histories of such importance is so exciting and such an honour. Age Exchange is delighted that people will be able to participate directly in heritage and arts activity and see their family history brought to a public audience through exhibition, film, theatre and archive. We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for its support and to our partners for having supported the planning and creation of the programme structure and application. Particular thanks are due to Piet Chielens at In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Jehan Weerasinghe at London & Quadrant Housing Trust, and Doctor Stuart Lee and his team at the University of Oxford."

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, added: “This is a great project that serves to capture intriguing individual and community stories; at risk of being lost from living memory, from this poignant period in our history. It is fantastic that these testimonies will be available online and contribute to remembering the First World War on the eve of the Centenary.”

Across an 18 month period, project activities will include reminiscence projects, intergenerational workshops, filming and recording of group and individual interviews, including exploring the theme through sharing personal heritage. There will also be open days in 8 London Boroughs where the public will be welcomed to contribute family history, images and text to the Europeana 1914-18 International archive.

In the final months leading up to the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War in August 2014, Age Exchange will integrate the collected memories into a touring exhibition and film installation, and a major intergenerational theatre production where young and old will perform both theirs and others memories gathered through the many hours of reminiscence sessions and archive collation. Following the completion of the project in Autumn 2014, the recorded memories, digitalised photographs, letters and text will rest with the Europeana 1914-18 Archive, in support of learning and research into the Great War by people across Europe.

FWW logoThe Heritage Lottery has awarded £82,000 to the programme which has also raised match funding enabling Age Exchange to support activity with £137,000.

Age Exchange is a member of The Imperial War Museum First World War Centenary Partnership.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported almost 35,000 projects with more than £5.3bn across the UK.

HLF logo

G&StT logoPioneering initiative that will model future provision of Reminiscence Arts in Care

Reminiscence Arts and Dementia – Impact on Quality of Life (RADIQL), is a three year programme created by Age Exchange. The programme aims to provide a model of excellence in the provision of person-centred creative care for older people in South London. It seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing for the older people who participate in the programme, specifically those with dementia.

The initiative has been funded with a grant of £595,500 from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity in line with their ambitions to support innovation in health which will improve the health and wellbeing of the population of the two London Boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, but which may influence changes in policy and practice more widely.

RADIQL aims to identify and develop a new form of reminiscence and arts practice to be piloted in end of life care, in care settings and the community in Southwark and Lambeth. It will enable participants to engage in therapeutic reminiscence arts activity, as well as increase their social interaction. The aim of the intervention is to improve mood and self-esteem and reduce levels of isolation, unhappiness and depression. RADIQL will also provide activity in Healthy Ageing Cafés, a support group for carers, and on-going mentoring and training for carers in reminiscence and arts based methodology.

The programme will be delivered by teams of Age Exchange practitioners both through group work and the provision of one to one sessions for those benefiting from focused individual support. They will work closely with professionals and family carers to ensure that the new model of care is informed by their shared expertise and experience.

The intervention will be evaluated by King's College London and Royal Holloway University of London. Following the initial two years of practice, and informed by the evaluation, Age Exchange will create a new professional role of Reminiscence and Creative Carer as part of its plan to embed the new approach across SE London and more widely

Reminiscence Arts and Dementia – Impact on Quality of Life, is a partnership programme between: Age Exchange, Alzheimer's Lambeth and Southwark, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Age Exchange will keep the public updated with information about the programme as it develops over the next 3 years.

“This major award from The Guy's and St Thomas' Charity is an important recognition both of the need to explore new approaches to creative care for older people with dementia, and the role that Age Exchange, with its unique expertise, can play in partnership with others, in working to establish new practice in reminiscence and creative care. We are grateful to The Guy's and St Thomas' Charity for supporting this pioneering programme and to everyone who has worked with us to secure this grant.”
(David Savill, Artistic Director, Age Exchange)

Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds project photo
Age Exchange is in its second year of delivering a major reminiscence and creative arts programme for people who use mental health services in South London. The programme is funded by the Maudsley Charity. Age Exchange is working in partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to ensure service users who would most benefit from participation in the programme are able to take part. Age Exchange is currently working in 5 continuing care units across South London delivering group reminiscence and creative arts sessions for older people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Group work is supported by programme of one to one activity for older people who are bedridden or requiring individual support.
South London and Maudsley logo
A key element of Hearts and Minds is a structured training programme for S.L.A.M. care staff and managers, providing them with training in specific reminiscence arts related skills and techniques. Training now in its second year will be enhanced by individual mentoring for care staff wanting to grow their own reminiscence arts activity within their care unit.

Hearts and Minds is being evaluated by Royal Holloway University of London led by Professor Helen Nicholson. The published evaluation at the end of the 3rd year of the programme will be utilized by the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to enhance the future provision of reminiscence arts practice for service users and professional staff.
More details>

Creative Caring Seminar

Age Exchange held a successful half-day seminar on 24 July 2012 to mark the end of our two year project, Creative Caring, a major reminiscence programme for residential homes and dementia care cafes across London, funded by the City Bridge Trust. The seminar explored creative ways to improve the quality of life and well-being for older people.
city bridge logo
Central to this programme was the training and mentoring of care staff, enabling them to work closely with Age Exchange project workers and learn complimentary skills in person centred care and reminiscence work.

The seminar was highly practical and hands-on, enabling participants to take part in two applied workshops, each focussing on a different area of practice used in work with older people.

The feedback collected from participants of the day was extremely positive. Here are some of the things participants had to say about the morning:

'Very engaging organisers and facilitators and an inspiring organisation ethos. Interesting to see the way the programmes rolled out and how to reminisce in multiple ways.'

'Perfect time and mix of activities.'

'Great to share ideas and get new ideas for practice and projects. I really enjoyed both sessions.'

'Inspired me to be more aware of individual needs and cultural differences.'

'Really great morning and very useful – lots to take from it!'

'Age Exchange always manage to stimulate and help me to reflect on my practice.'

'The sessions were very different but informative and a good mix.'

'Inspired me to treat my father differently.'

'Wonderful teachers/facilitators – very inspiring and humbling, a beautiful morning.'

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Dignity Through Creative Care

Seminar – held at the King’s Fund 25th April 2012

The seminar explored creative ways of improving quality of life and well-being for older people living in care and those with dementia. Dignity through Creative Care marked the conclusion of the first year of Hearts and Minds (a major 3 year reminiscence and creative arts programme for people who use mental health services in South London). The seminar included: an introduction to the work of Age Exchange and to the programme by David Savill, Artistic Director Age Exchange, a key note presentation by David Norman, Service Director Mental Health and Older Adults and Dementia, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and an evaluation presentation of the first year of activity, by Professor Helen Nicholson (and her team) from Royal Holloway University of London. Participants also took part in 3 experiential workshops focusing on the practice and learning of Hearts and Minds.

Many participants have requested copy of the power point presentations by David Norman, David Savill, and Professor Helen Nicholson’s evaluation presentation.

Seminar programme >
David Savill’s presentation >
David Norman’s presentation >
Professor Helen Nicholson’s presentation (RHUL) >

If you would like a copy of the published evaluation of Year 1 of Hearts and Minds please email your request to

Kings Fund seminar photo David Savill

Untold Stories website screenshot
Untold Stories

Age Exchange
has supported Untold Stories - the first major project to celebrate the impact of diverse communities on the culture of Cambridgeshire - with training and consultancy.

In addition, Age Exchange has created the Untold Stories educational website available at:

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© Age ExchangeTheatre Trust Ltd. 2014 (a company limited by guarantee) Registered in England No. 1929724.
Registered Office 11 Blackheath Village, London SE3 9LA Registered as Charity No: 326899
Patrons: Roy Hudd OBE Glenda Jackson MP Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford MP Sir Sigmund Sternberg KCSG JP Baroness Greengross OBE