National Museums Liverpool - Museums Association

National Museums Liverpool

The House of Memories is a dementia-awareness training programme developed and delivered by National Museums Liverpool and funded by the Department of Health.

Using museum objects, archives and stories, the programme aims to provide social and health care staff with new skills and resources to enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of people living with dementia.

House of Memories also has a wider remit to increase awareness and understanding of dementia, and promote effective communication and meaningful interaction with people with dementia.

“The House of Memories uniquely demonstrates the power of National Museums Liverpool to positively change people’s lives,” says Carol Rogers, executive director of education and communities at National Museums Liverpool.

“We want to see a House of Memories in every town and city. Our ambition is fuelled by a strong desire to continue to support the exceptional workforce that cares for the growing number of people living with dementia in the UK.”

The scheme is designed to be delivered to health and social care staff in interactive one-day training events in the museum that focus on raising awareness and understanding of people’s experience of living with dementia.

Participants explore the museum’s collections and learn how to engage with people living with dementia using objects and memorabilia from the museum relevant to people’s personal histories.

To extend the learning beyond the initial training experience, participants are also equipped with resources to take away, including a memory box and a guide to developing memory activities.

Following successful workshops at the Museum of Liverpool, the scheme was extended to other venues in the north in 2013, with workshops taking place at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Bury Art Museum and Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens in collaboration with local cultural partners.

Evaluation of the House of Memories training programme found that participants reported that the training increased their awareness and understanding of dementia, and helped them to see those living with the condition differently.

Participants left the training with a belief that by communicating more effectively with people living with dementia they can make a difference and improve the experience and quality of people’s lives.