Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery - Museums Association

Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery

The wellbeing of people living with dementia was markedly improved when they were encouraged to explore the collection at the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery as part of a collaborative project with the Alzheimer’s Society and Canterbury Christ Church University.

Object handling sessions were designed to give participants a sense of achievement and fulfilment through learning something new and evaluation showed that feelings of wellbeing had significantly and steadily increased over the two-year project.

“Museums tap into our curiosity, a quality so primal that it’s one of the last things to be effected by dementia,” says audience development manager Jeremy Kimmel.

“Museums can use the bizarre and the wonderful to engage, excite and intrigue people who feel they’re slowly losing their humanity and help them to feel like themselves and not be defined by a disease.”