New stories performed by Museums Service Suitcase Stories project

sc3 Published Thursday, 23rd March 2017

For the past six weeks the second phase of the Suitcase Stories project has been running in Evesham, Kidderminster and Redditch.

The project invites adults living with dementia and their carers to relive memories from the 40s, 50s and 60s using the art of Storytelling and reminiscence.

The participants each week have been holding, touching, smelling and feeling the handling objects from Museums Worcestershire collections to inspire stories for Storyteller Gavin Young to perform.

By bringing together museum objects for reminiscence, and the arts for creative expression, Museums Worcestershire is aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of Worcestershire residents living with dementia.

The themes of the handling objects are holidays, nature, hair and beauty, food, hobbies and family.

The memories of the adults living with dementia, and the museum handling objects, have inspired the artistic process and content to create a live performance of storytelling and music from the minds of Worcestershire residents.

From these memories new stories about Worcestershire’s past have been sourced and written.

These are being performed at three local dementia cafes (Evesham, Kidderminster and Redditch), connecting residents of Worcestershire to their memories using arts and heritage.

There is no charge for entry. The dates are:

  • Evesham, Wednesday 5 April, from 11.30am at Hampton guide and scout hut, Hampton, WR11 2PQ
  • Kidderminster, Friday 21 April from 11.30am at The Evangelical Church, Greatfield Rd, DY11 6PP
  • Redditch, Wednesday 3 May from 11.45am at Masonic hall, Easmore Rd, B98 8ER

The project so far has worked with 76 people across the county directly, with over 200 more benefiting as a live audience. The stories will also be recorded and made available as a podcast and CD. The first 3 stories are available on the Museums Worcestershire website.

Jenny Davis, Suitcase Stories project manager, says: “It's been extraordinary to see the participants of the project throw themselves so fully in to it, sharing their memories and stories. These memories are to be cherished and I’m so glad that they are being preserved through the stories Gavin Young is creating. I’m excited to see the finished product at the dementia cafes and how the live music will change and enhances those stories.”

This project has been generously supported by Arts Council England, The Elmley Foundation, Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Arts Partnership, Malvern Hills District Council, Wychavon District Council, Worcester City Council, Wyre Forest District Council and Bromsgrove and Redditch Councils.

For more information and to book on to the performances contact Jenny Davis, Suitcase Stories Project manager, 07946 585978