Our story

Age Exchange was founded in Blackheath in 1983, with the vision of harnessing the power of reminiscence to improve the health and wellbeing of people. The charity had a revolutionary idea – creativity and conversations can connect with people living with dementia in incredible ways and in doing so, change their lives for the better.

Whilst a person’s ability to communicate with words may decline with the development of dementia, art and creativity is a universal joy and a tool for self-expression that remains, even as the condition progresses.

The heart of a community

The founders of Age Exchange realised that people living with dementia still have much to contribute to society and they are very much part of our vibrant community in Blackheath.

Age Exchange is much more than a typical dementia care service. Age Exchange has something for everyone. Young and old alike. Our bustling community hub is a welcome space for a coffee, a chance to take part in an activity class or to volunteer in our library or not for profit café. It’s as much a home to mums and toddlers enjoying cakes and games in the café, as it is for families touched by dementia.

Age Exchange has been the heart of the community for almost 40 years and welcomes more than 180,000 visitors each year. Making everyone part of our community, Age Exchange is able to reduce the isolation so often associated with dementia. It is the non-clinical, warm and welcoming place that every community deserves.

We are more than just a dementia service

As a charity we rely on our incredible volunteers. Age Exchange promotes and supports active ageing by bringing people together.

Our unique approach to dementia intervention has an incredible impact of quality of life, helping people to rediscover their voice, their ability to dance or simply to have fun again.

Age Exchange has created many inspiring art projects across the generations. We work with schools, in neighbourhoods and with communities – anywhere there are stories that we can support, develop and protect for the future.

We offer specialist training and consultancy services to deliver our Reminiscence Arts practice in your workplace or community.

Our goals

  • reducing isolation and loneliness
  • promoting intergenerational understanding
  • improving the quality of life and care for people and those with dementia
  • supporting carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing

Age Exchange strives to be person-centred, creative, open and inclusive in all that we do. We believe that these values are central to health and wellbeing.

Our values

  • People are at the heart of everything that we do. We believe that focusing on the individual, their stories and experiences is the cornerstone of reducing loneliness and improving wellbeing.
  • We use the creative arts as the basis for our reminiscence work.
  • We want to create an environment where everyone feels valued and included. We recognise that differences exist and thus respond to individual needs.