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The Storybox Project

Storybox 2014 Roshana Rubin-MayhewImage Credit – Roshana Rubin-Mayhew

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Storybox is our ground breaking project designed for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is an engagement and communication methodology which uses collaborative storymaking as a starting point. It is based upon a foundation of empathy, imagination, empowerment and togetherness as a starting point to explore notions of practice, relationships and culture in between older people and those who care for them.

How Does It Work?

Storybox residencies are designed around a different themes using a variety of music, props and costume. They are sensory and fun experiences where games are played and stories are made up to encourage togetherness, improve concentration and lift mood. The emphasis of the sessions is on the present. Whilst naturally the stimulus evokes memories and there is space to share these: Storybox is not a reminiscence project. Working with personal memories can be frustrating or confusing to people with dementia, so the sessions were designed to be a celebration of the moment. This has a fun, freeing effect on the participants where there is no right and wrong, and each participant is made to feel valued and valid. These interventions also serve as a starting point to:

  • Created shared experiences
  • Allow for an affirmed sense of self
  • Improve physical health
  • Improve mental capacity
  • Improve self esteem and confidence
  • Explore and enhance inter-personal relationships
  • Explore and enhance workplace culture

The Storybox Philosophy

Central to the Storybox philosophy is the belief that creative participation can improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation for people with dementia. The belief that creativity can be incorporated into the day-to-day care of older people and that everyone should have the opportunity to try new things and be culturally active throughout their lives. We are committed to promoting positive images of ageing and demonstrate the scope of possibilities for working with older people.

Leaving a legacy of practical activities, creative ideas and a person-centred approach is an essential part of the project. As well as the exploration of how people with dementia can be empowered to take the lead and express their own ideas and personality.

What could Storybox do for you?

What we can offer:

  • Tailor made creative interventions and projects
  • Staff training and development around creativity and community
  • Resources to support development around creativity and community
  • Training and support for the development of creative interventions and projects
  • Development, mentoring and consultancy around creativity, community and compassion

Storybox was originally developed by Liz Postlethwaite, Lowri Evans and Sara Cocker at the Library Theatre Company through the support of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Manchester City Council.