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Project inspired by memories of care home residents is unveiled

The Mildenhall Lodge art project is unveiled Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Mildenhall Lodge art project is unveiled Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Lucy Taylor Photography

A nine-month art project which was inspired by the childhood memories of residents at a Mildenhall care home was unveiled last week.

Residents at Mildenhall Lodge Picture: LUCY TAYLORResidents at Mildenhall Lodge Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Mildenhall Lodge opened its doors to the community for the special exhibition, titled Bringing the Outside In, which was created by residents.

The project was co-created and delivered by Holly Sandiford and Melanie Tilford, from organisation ArtatWork CIC, and was supported by a National Lottery grant of £10,000.

Residents shared their memories of being in nature as a child as inspiration for the project with an arts and walking group for women which is held at Mildenhall Community Centre.

The centre is managed by Keystone Development Trust, who were also partners in the project.

Melanie Tilford and Derek Boorman at the art project showcase Picture: LUCY TAYLORMelanie Tilford and Derek Boorman at the art project showcase Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Activities included library and museum visits, poetry sessions, journaling, heritage crafts making, and mixed media artwork.

To mark the end of the project, the home hosted an art exhibition and welcomed the local community to view the art and meet the residents who inspired and created the work. The art will also be displayed throughout the home for residents and visitors to admire.

Katy Hughes, home manager at Mildenhall Lodge, said: “The residents and team at Mildenhall Lodge are incredibly proud to have taken part in such a fantastic project.

“We are passionate about the importance of encouraging older people to build relationships within the community, and encouraging reminiscence through hobbies such as arts and crafts – art is a fantastic way to express memories through a creative outlet.

“We would like to say a big thank you to Holly, Melanie and their team who made the project such a success, and we’re all looking forward to continuing to be creative with their new hobbies.”

Holly Sandiford, from ArtatWork CIC, said: “This project is important to encourage reminiscence, and we were really keen to explore how the natural environment played a big role in the lives of the participating residents. We were over the moon to have received additional support thanks to National Lottery players.”

ArtatWork is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) which offers arts activities as a means of promoting wellbeing.

The group encourages people to rediscover their creativity, in a fun and collaborative way, thus increasing personal happiness and satisfaction.

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