The artefacts – exhibits at the Swansea Council-run Dylan Thomas Centre and Swansea Museum – are among the heritage treasures on the new Welsh section of a successful online resource.
Gems such as an original record sleeve to a Dylan Thomas recording of ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ and a collection of packaged household consumables are among the latest items to be featured on the app run as part of dementia awareness training programme House of Memories.
There’s also Thomas’s Swansea Grammar School Cap plus a boxed red London bus Corgi toy.
Council cabinet member Elliott King explained: “It’s great that some of our fantastic treasures from the past are now helping people live a better future.”
“Swansea has a rich heritage and our cultural venues showcase it day in day out. Our new link with House of Memories shows that we’re continually looking for new ways to make the most of our varied collections.
“I encourage any caregiver facing the challenge of dementia to find out more about House of Memories. It offers training, resources and activities to enable caregivers to provide person-centred care for people to live well with dementia.”
House of Memories Cymru is a bilingual programme of workshops, training and digital memories which aims to help spark conversations between people living with dementia and their carers.
The Welsh section of the initiative’s app was launched on October 2 at The Senedd featuring memories of Wales, Welsh people and their communities. Users can search through a live museum of Welsh items and personalise their experience to include their own memories.
House of Memories Cymru is now being rolled out across Wales, with training and workshops for users such as social care staff and for friends and family. Sessions take place at Swansea Museum on October 25 and 26.
Memories are prompted in the app with a mixture of audio, video and images of historical items with representatives of everyday life in Wales.
Objects range from the common family items found around homes, to life events such as the 1984 Miners’ Strike with memory prompts curated and collected from existing Welsh museum collections, to create an app that celebrates the culture of Wales, both old and new.
Carol Rogers, director of National Museums Liverpool, enthused: “We are thrilled to launch House of Memories Cymru and add a bespoke Welsh package to our international House of Memories programme.”
“We hope the programme will not only help improve the lives of people living with dementia, but also be the catalyst for meaningful connections between them and their families or carers.”
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support House of Memories Cymru which celebrates Welsh culture and invaluable role Welsh museums play in supporting older people and those living with dementia.”
[Lead image: Swansea University]
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