A north east charity has been working alongside a local museum on a new reminiscence project to help people with dementia map out their life journey.

For the past two years, Age UK North Tyneside has been running a regular Time Travellers group to help people living with dementia share and celebrate memories of their past.

The group work with the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museum’s outreach team, to access museums, galleries and collections across the region to make local history come to life and provide the opportunity to gain new experiences.

In January 2016, the Time Travellers group were selected to take part in a special project with the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums called ‘HistoryPin: Tyne & Wear Connections’.

The HistoryPin project saw the group create their own life story timelines, taking along photographs, documents and archive images to trigger memories and promote discussion. Their timelines have been shared online at the HistoryPin website, linking to the specific places around the world their events took place in.

One of the members of the Time Traveller’s group who took part in the project, Norman Dowson said: “You take photographs all the time throughout your life and put them in albums, which then just get forgotten about for years. When you start going through all these albums again a day flies by and you’re still looking.

“Taking part in the HistoryPin project has been great, because now I can talk about the things that happened to me, like when I met my wife and being in the forces. It is a wonderful thing because somewhere out there, there might be someone out there doing the same thing that I met years ago and we could get back in contact. That would be tremendous.”

The project ended with a celebration in The Great Hall at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum at the start of July, where people from across the region got involved to share their stories and receive their own personal copy of their HistoryPin projects.

Amy Goffin, dementia service team leader, at Age UK North Tyneside, added: “This has been a fantastic project for our Time Travellers to be involved in, and has been a great help in giving them a platform to look back at their history and have an input in preserving the history for the area.”

For more information about Age UK North Tyneside and Time Travellers, please visit http://www.ageuk.org.uk/northtyneside/ or contact our team on 0191 280 8484.

And for more information on HistoryPin: Tyne & Wear Connections, visit their project page at
www.historypin.org/en/connections-tyne-wear