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The Herbert set to launch book for dementia patients

The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum has been encouraging pupils to learn about what working in Coventry was like in the past by developing relationships with older people in their community.

The museum has been working with specially selected Key Stage 3 pupils from Coundon Court School, and Coundon Care Centre based at Coundon Methodist Church. The pupils asked users of the day care centre about how they got their first jobs and what working was like in post war Coventry. In response to this, the residents asked the students what they would like to do after they finish school and how they felt about their job prospects. The aim of the intergenerational initiative is to create a mutual respect and a wider understanding between the two generations, as well as strengthening relationships and educating older and younger people about their own heritage and life today. The pupils also learnt about how many job opportunities there used to be in Coventry, and the ease of walking out of one job and into another. In turn, the older generation learnt about the challenges that school leavers face trying to get jobs, including which qualifications you need for specific jobs, the application process, and the amount of work experience you need.

Through the success of the project, the Herbert, along with Coundon Court School and Coundon Care Centre Charity are set to launch a book for people with dementia about working life in post war Coventry with specialist dementia publisher, Pictures To Share. Once published, the book will be sent free of charge to local care homes and libraries, and will be sold in the Herbert shop.

Stacey Bains, Community and Engagement Officer at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, said, "Dementia is a growing concern within our society and a lot of people find it difficult knowing what to talk about to people with the illness. The project with Coundon Court School has helped the pupils understand the condition, and they have also built relationships with the older generation. We are very excited to be working with Pictures To Share and helping dementia patients talk about their working lives to their friends and families."

The selected Key Stage 3 students used the Herbert's History Gallery as a resource to find out about jobs and life in post war Coventry. As well as this, the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum's social inclusion team offer special outreach reminiscence sessions to care homes and older people's groups, which include real museum objects and photographs on different themes. For more information about these outreach workshops including our special Victorian Christmas sessions throughout November and December, please contact Stacey Bains on 02476 832386.

For a selection of specialist books for people with dementia, please visit: www.picturestoshare.co.uk

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