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York Museums Trust partner with award-winning House of Memories to launch new app to help those living with dementia

DATE: 24 November 2021

York Museums Trust are delighted to be partnering with House of Memories, an award-winning dementia awareness programme developed by National Museums Liverpool, to launch a new and free digital app that will help people living with dementia.


The newly created package, entitled ‘York Memories’, will help people recall memories using a variety of artefacts from the York Castle Museum collection and our partner organisations (York Explore, York Army Museum, National Railway Museum, Borthwick Archive and Ryedale Folk Museum). To enhance usability, the objects will be divided into five groups: entertainment, working life, shopping, army life, and rural life. 80 everyday objects from the 1920s to 1990s will be featured within the app, including a series of photographs of the city, a selection of clothes and uniforms and other objects such as books and old tickets.


Philip Newton, Communities Engagement Researcher at York Museums Trust, said: “It has been a pleasure working with House of Memories and our cultural partners to develop the new app package, especially sharing objects from the York Castle Museum’s collections. We sincerely hope people living with dementia and their friends, family and carers find the new app content helpful and that people are able to use the resource for many years to come.”


Everyday objects can help those living with dementia draw on memories to create personal connections with people who support them. Within the app, users can save objects to their own memory trees, memory boxes or memory timelines to share with family and friends.


Carol Rogers MBE, Director of House of Memories, said: “We are delighted to be working with York Museums Trust and look forward to sharing our knowledge with health and social care professionals and families. The ‘York Memories’ package in the My House of Memories app includes items which we hope will prove very evocative to people living with dementia in the York area – from sporting memories to life on the moors, shopping on Coney Street to military parades at Micklegate Bar. We are proud to support people living with dementia in and around York to help bring their stories to life. We know that our resources can transform relationships and enhance wellbeing, and that they can also make a difference to the lives of carers and those they care for.”


Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities at City of York Council, said: “This is another example of the city working to improve people’s lives by working together and sharing resources. To bring together the city’s collections and the organisations which curate them in this way to support those living with dementia, their carers and families, is inspiring. I’d urge anyone living with or caring for someone with dementia to sign up to the training and benefit from the app.”


The app will be complemented by House of Memories museum-led dementia awareness training delivered by National Museums Liverpool for health and social care professionals, families, and care partners of people with dementia. York Museums Trust will host three sessions, that will take place on 29 and 30 November 2021 for up to 40 health and social care professionals and informal caregivers per session. The training will explore how to use the app, introduce dementia through real-life stories and explain how stimulating and sharing memories about a person’s life history is important to support people living with dementia and their families.


Originally launched in the UK in 2014, the My House of Memories app has also been successfully rolled out in the US and Singapore. Since its launch, the app has been downloaded over 36,000 times around the world, with more than 22,400 users who have taken part in over 130,000 activities.


The My House of Memories app can be downloaded for free via the App Store and Google Play.


To sign up for the House of Memories museum-led dementia awareness training, please visit the following Eventbrite links:


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