So, after the end of the study visit, the report writing, the thinking and the reflection-how to put all the learning into practice?
I’m lucky to have two projects to work on. ‘Meet Me @ The NGC’ is a weekly session for people with dementia and their carers, an opportunity to come to the National Glass Centre (NGC) for a workshop with glass artists and a little bit of creative writing with myself.
Many of the conversations I’ve had with participants have focussed on ‘work’ . This is more than reminiscence; work is often what defines us. The riverside site of the NGC is also a reminder for many people of the decline in industry on the banks of the River Wear and in the Sunderland area- shipbuilding, mining, rope making. For others, their active roles in working in their community: teaching, caring.
‘I prefer the riverside as it used to be- watching the ships being launched- plenty of jobs. Now its just a place to walk the dog.’
These conversations were also inspired by the ongoing ‘work’ at the NGC where glass blowing can be observed and the huge installation of over one thousand hanging glass ‘teardrops’ which often provoked a response of ‘How did they make that?’.
At the end of the workshops, participants commented that it was rare chance for socialising and being creative but also an important opportunity to return to making something, being productive.