Dementia sufferers have artwork displayed at South Lakes exhibition

The Westmorland Gazette: Work produced during the sessions Work produced during the sessions

DEMENTIA sufferers who have taken part in an arts and craft project are now seeing their work displayed at an exhibition in Grasmere.

Sufferers from across Kendal and Penrith, who have produced art work as part of a series of special sessions, have had their work shown at the Wordsworth Museum, in the village.

The sessions - ‘In The Moment’ - have been run by the Wordsworth Trust, the Alzheimer’s Society and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and participants have produced poetry, felt pictures, ceramics and monoprints.

Councillor Graham Vincent, SLDC portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s important not to underestimate the value of pleasure and the immense contribution that art and poetry give to wellbeing.

“The groups that enable people living with dementia to learn and explore art and poetry clearly have an extremely positive impact, and have resulted in an exceptional exhibition.”

Harriet Fraser from the Wordsworth Trust said: “These sessions do not focus on the dementia, or on memory difficulties.

“They focus instead on each person, and the pleasure of being in the moment. The enthusiasm of our participants speaks for itself. One said it had ‘opened up their world’ and another remarked that she can’t wait to come each week.”

The work will be exhibited until July 1.

The Wordsworth Trust began working alongside the Alzheimer’s Society in February, backed by SLDC funding.

The model for the groups had already developed over two years, with Bronwen Glancy of Kendal Alzheimers Society having linked up with ArtSense artists.

The association with Harriet Fraser and Susan Allen from the Wordsworth Trust added a ‘fresh element’, incorporating the written and spoken word.

Councillor Vincent added: “Reminiscence used to be the focus of activities involving those with dementia, but there’s increasing evidence to show that activities that are creative, stimulating and enlivening are hugely important, and these groups provide this.

“We are pleased to support this work and to see that Cumbria is leading the way in this initiative.”

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