Art tour to help those affected by memory loss

THE Towner art gallery and health professionals are combining in an initiative which helps people with memory problems.

Art therapists and mental health staff from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust worked with the gallery to create the Open Ended Art Tour.

The ‘supportive and friendly’ art tour is designed specifically for people who have dementia or memory problems.

Today (Friday) those involved in the early stages of the scheme have been invited back to preview a new collection of work which will underpin the tour until September.

Inspired by a similar project at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the tour will be a permanent feature of the services offered at the gallery and is one of the first of its type in the country.

Service users and carers helped to select the art works, fed back on the best ways to deliver the tour and even practical suggestions such as the best choice of tea and biscuits to serve.

Joanna Stevens, arts therapies adviser at Sussex Partnership, said, “Too often people with memory loss, their carers and families feel excluded from sharing everyday pleasures.

“This project gives them dedicated time to look at art works from Towner’s unique collection, to make their own connections and enjoy hearing what other people have to say about the art.”

Richard Beales, Towner outreach and inclusion manager, said, “Our commitment to inclusion extends to all the community, but especially those with significant health needs.

“The new building and the level of access it provides to our collection is central to our ability to deliver projects such as this and in this time of austerity it is a fine example of cost effectiveness through partnership working.”

The next Open Ended tour is on April 5, from 10am to noon, and repeated on the first Tuesday of each month at the same times.

Contact the Towner to book a place on 434670.