One of Northern Ireland’s leading theatre companies, c21, has been collaborating with a number of care homes and nursing homes to produce a unique Reminiscence Project – with Sunnymead Residential Home Armagh, Mahon Hall, Portadown and Iveagh House Care Home in Banbridge all taking part.
‘Through The Glass’ creatively interacts with residents, stimulating conversations and encouraging them to share stories from their past. c21 Theatre Company worked with the education departments in local museums to supply Reminiscence Loan Boxes to the nursing and care homes. These were then used in workshops facilitated by the activity coordinators located in the homes. The Loan Boxes contained historical items ranging from powdered milk from WWII to 1970s shoes.
Five of the stories captured have now been developed into theatrical films based around the themes of home, community, school days, work and going out, and will be shared via the c21 YouTube Channel.
The first film of the series – featuring memories from residents in care homes in the ABC area – will be shown on the YouTube channel next Tuesday 24th November. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbWMNBFxLbOIaznTiXTP8MA
Kathryn Mitchel, Activities Coordinator with Sunnymead Home in Armagh said “Our residents thoroughly enjoyed the project, it gave them confidence to express themselves and encouraged them knowing that someone wanted to hear their stories. It has brought folks together and they found they had quite a lot in common and even forged new friendships. In these difficult days while the world outside our care home is in turmoil, we want our ladies and gentlemen to live happy, purposeful and meaningful lives and this project and their enthusiasm has encouraged me to do the same.”
Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Kevin Savage said “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this wonderful project – a project that has brought residents together within care homes during this time and allowed them to bring their past experiences to life. I hope this will enable us to continue to link up with and connect with all our local care homes who are doing amazing jobs with our senior citizens.”
A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency, who funded the short film reflecting memories gathered from residents within the ABC area said, “we have been very happy to support this positive initiative during a very challenging time for us all.”
Stephen Kelly, from c21 Theatre Company, said, “We believe we have developed a project that clearly demonstrates how the arts is vital to connect with and give our communities a voice – especially to care and nursing homes. The Through the Glass Project has helped to stimulate conversations where residents have opened up and shared their personal stories.”
‘Through The Glass’ will be broadcast on c21 Theatre Company’s YouTube channel over a five-week period starting on Tuesday 24th November – and each Tuesday after that until 22nd December 2020.
Follow the Project on c21 Theatre Company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. For further information on c21 Theatre Company visit www.c21theatrecompany.com
This project was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through its National Lottery Fund, the Public Health Agency, supported by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and sponsored by Doyle Shipping Group.