Residents at Hatfeild Court, a WDH run Independent Living Scheme in Wakefield, enjoyed a trip down memory lane after recently attending a ‘Portrait of a Life’ session.
The series of sessions cover a different topic each, and encourage residents to share their memories and experiences in order to help reduce feelings of social isolation. Information gathered at the Portrait of a Life sessions will be shared with people who work in health and care settings – including within the NHS and care homes. This will provide workers with the skills and knowledge needed to conduct ‘life story’ work, so they can better understand how a person’s past can shape how they are at present.
The sessions are part of an NHS ‘Vanguard’ project, operating under the Connecting Care programme in Wakefield, which aims to ensure people in supported living accommodation have their health and social care needs met.
Jo Hind and Linda Holroyd, representatives from South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust helped facilitate the session using a range of items such as old toys and some photos of schools to stimulate resident’s memories. The second session focussed on childhood and school, and attendees all shared memories of activities including drinking milk at school and the books they read as children.
Hatfeild Court resident Monica Cuthbertson, 92, said: “The session was wonderful. It was so lovely to talk and look back at all of our memories together. I have learnt a lot more about the other people in the group just from these first couple of sessions.”
Darren Portman, WDH’s Wellbeing Services Manager, said: “We are doing more partnership working in order to enhance our tenants’ experiences as we continue to look at developing the extra care service provision we can provide for our residents by offering training to our staff to enable us to roll this out across all of our independent living schemes.”