Age Exchange was commissioned by The Dengie Project Trust in Essex to deliver a major programme of thematic reminiscence sessions at the Knightswood Day Centre, and the One Stop Community Store in Southminster two days a week for four months. The programme also included training and consultancy for care staff and volunteers, in reminiscence practice and its use in creating art and theatre from lived experience, and in person centred dementia care.
The programme resulted in two special productions: a film called ‘Knightswood is The Place For Me’ about the lives of the older participants at Knightswood Day Centre created through group reminiscence and individual interviews, and a reminiscence theatre production created with the drop in group at the One Stop. On Wednesday 15 July 2009 the One Stop cast performed ‘All the Way There and Half the Way Back’ a show based on personal memories and of life in the Dengie area of Essex. There was an audience of almost 200 at the Tractor Shed Theatre in Latchingdon. The Tractor Shed is a fascinating space to perform. Created in an old barn and surrounded by vintage tractors it was the perfect setting for these wonderful scenes of local life in the Dengie.
Both the documentary and the film of the play are available through Age Exchange.
The Dengie Project Trust is a unique organisation in rural Essex, providing a wide range of high quality services and activities for vulnerable and isolated older people. To find out more about The Dengie Project Trust please visit www.dengieprojecttrust.org.uk
The programme was funded by Essex County Council. Reminiscences performed ranged from an East London childhood to personal memories of the rural life of the area.