A CELEBRATION event took place at The Playhouse yesterday, Tuesday, when ‘memory boxes’ were opened at a reception held to showcase the ‘Life in a Box’ project.
The aim of the initiative is to enable older men to communicate their individuality, by highlighting significant aspects of their younger days and illustrating what is important to them – this was done by making memory boxes.
The Reminiscence Network, in partnership with the Arts Council, has been delighted to host 10 workshops for men in Londonderry, facilitated by Deirdre Doherty, an experienced reminiscence worker, with the support of visual artist, David Cunningham. Two similar projects have been running simultaneously with older men in Newtownards.
Facilitated by reminiscence worker Marian Ferguson and by Deirdre in Omagh, yesterday’s event was the first time all the participants met and saw eachother’s work.
Marian Ferguson, Reminiscence Network Northern Ireland (RNNI) Manager said: “It has been wonderful hearing the life stories of these men from all regions particularly rural areas which are harder to reach. Each man’s story is unique and it has been fascinating helping them to select the areas of their lives that they wished to visually create. We have had lots of laughs and a few tears along the way. As well as the story telling, they have loved the sorting of photographs, sourcing objects, woodwork, painting and for many it has been an opportunity to meet with old acquaintances and develop new friendships. I am now really looking forward to meeting all the men and seeing all the boxes together for the first time.”
The RNNI is a membership organisation and its mission is to promote well- being by encouraging people in Northern Ireland to recall and value their life experiences.