Amersham Museum is launching a new project to support older, isolated people, with the support of the Santander Foundation, Tesco Bags of Help and Chiltern District Council. The ‘Age Friendly’ project will develop a range of innovative, creative programmes aimed at reaching more vulnerable members of the local community. Emily Toettcher, the museum’s curator, explained “we want Amersham Museum to play a greater role in the wellbeing of the community, in addition to it being a place for enjoyment and learning”.
Similar programmes run in other museums have been shown to decrease isolation and improve positive emotions amongst older people, as well as being enjoyed by participants.
The museum in the High Street of Old Amersham, which recently reopened after a major renovation, will call on its team of enthusiastic volunteers to run projects within the museum building itself (part of which is a late medieval hall house) as well as outreach programmes with older people, including those suffering from dementia, in local care homes and supervised residential facilities. The programme, which began this autumn, includes object handling, reminiscence work and arts workshops. The Age Friendly project has been made possible by support from the Santander Foundation, Tesco Bags of Help Scheme and Chiltern District Council.
The Santander Foundation offers Discovery Grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.
Amy Slack, Manager at the Santander Foundation said: “The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations every year to good causes throughout the UK. Our branch is committed to playing a key part in the community and we are delighted to be supporting Amersham Museum, and hope the donation makes a real difference to local people.”
The project is also supported by the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants raised from carrier bag sales being awarded to thousands of local community projects every year. Alec Brown, Tesco’s Head of Community, said:
“Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”
Voting ran in stores throughout July and August with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out.