Archive Film programmes about life in the UK in the 20th Century

Reducing the isolation and improving health and wellbeing of older people, particularly those living with dementia, is now a priority in our communities.

Following several years of practical research Living Memories C.I.C., a not-for-profit social enterprise, is using archive films from the 20th century from the unique collection of Greenpark Productions Ltd (est.1938) and other archive collections to create audio-visual reminiscence resources which help people to come together, share memories and encourage communication with young people, family, friends and neighbours.

We are currently using the films to
  • Create and publish an ongoing series of topic-based DVDs, each with a 40 page Reminiscence Guide which can be used one-to-one or with groups to run reminiscence sessions or just to stimulate chats about life today and in the mid 20th century
  • Develop an app-based online platform for streaming our films and reminiscence guides through subscription/rental for delivery to tablets and other devices for use at home as well as in Memory Cafes, residential homes, community health and wellbeing hubs and other locations
  • Stimulate the formation of Tea and Memory groups as social franchises for older people to meet regularly, occasionally with students from local schools, to watch a few archive films and then chat over coffee and biscuits about the memories evoked by the films. The social impact of the groups is proving to be very positive and has won several awards. In some areas, where we are working closely with the NHS, Social Prescribing Nurses are referring patients to our groups.
I enjoy watching the archive films at our Tea & Memories Group in Colyton, Devon, because it makes me feel young again!
Noelle Ingman (Age 84)

The Benefits
Almost all of us has a family member, friend or neighbour who lives with some form of dementia. At times we can find it difficult to find topics to talk about because of the short term memory problems dementia causes. Reminiscing can be very helpful in overcoming these difficulties and is even considered to be therapeutic.
Home Sweet Home 1 CoverWhere carers are from a different generation and/or nationality our archive films can also be useful in giving the carer a glimpse of what life was like for the people they look after. This can help improved communication and foster a better understanding between them.

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"Your Living Memories work using archive film provides new opportunities for engagement and interaction and will help improve an individual's confidence, self-esteem and communication opportunities....."

Programme Lead, Long Term Conditions, NHS Cornwall

You can see more examples of clips from some archive films in the Greenpark Collection by clicking here to visit our Archive Clips page on this website.


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