Project launched to ‘dispel myths’ around dementia

The Encounter Project uses reminiscence and art to connect young nursery children with older people in care homes
The Encounter Project uses reminiscence and art to connect young nursery children with older people in care homes

An intergenerational programme has been launched as a positive community service in Worthing and Adur.

Ann Marie Lovejoy, founder of Lovejoy Centre, received funding from Worthing Borough Council for the initiative, which uses reminiscence and art to connect young nursery children with older people in care homes.

She said: “Younger and older people are the two main groups marginalised in our society.

“The purpose of this project is to dispel myths associated with people’s assumptions about dementia, build active dementia friendly communities, promote citizenship, pass on traditions through oral history via reminiscence therapy, address inequality, reduce loneliness, change people’s perceptions of older and younger people, and remove labels.

“All of the above can contribute to the development of a sustainable community.”

A former registered home manager, Ann Marie started Lovejoy Centre in August 2011 to provide qualitative activity sessions in the care sector. The service provides reminiscence, music and art sessions in private residential homes.

Ann Marie added: “The main approach is person centred to take into account the whole person and providing specialist sessions for individuals at varying stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

The Encounter Project is an intergenerational programme, partly funded through a small business grant, that is being piloted this year.

Ann Marie is currently working with Heaton House care home and Little Elms Nursery in Worthing, Drumconner Care Home in Lancing and Highgrove House care home in Worthing.

She said: “The idea is to use reminiscence and art sessions to bring together schoolchildren, preschoolers and older people living in a care home setting together.”

Visit lovejoycentre.co.uk or email lovejoycentre@gmail.com for more information.