Frames of Mind - Bloom Award runner-up

Frames of Mind, a Housing 21 Dementia Voice project, has been made runner-up in this year's Bloom Awards.

The awards, presented by Lemos & Crane, are for projects which have encouraged hope, freedom, enjoyment, achievement, and a sense of belonging for older people.

The Frames of Mind project worked with four older people with dementia to make Life History videos. The videos express some important things about what defines their lives, including:

  • past experiences
  • how experiences have shaped them
  • their preferences for living today.

With the help of the animation company, Salmagundi, the four participants, Doug, Sara, Juan and Joan took lead roles in authoring their own videos, making use of animation, photos, narration, personal belongings and art materials.

  • Doug talked about his youth and, in particular, about his dog Major
  • Sara drew in sand to recount a journey she had made across the Sahara
  • Juan talked about his early adulthood in Spain
  • Joan uses her doll collection to talk about children and her husband.

As well as being beneficial for the well-being of the person with dementia, the video is useful for introductions to new staff and carers.

The next stage is to create a package so that this project can be replicated across Housing 21's dementia services.

The judges commented:

"A seriousness of approach, a commitment to quality and an imaginative use of the arts mark this out. And it works in such a crucial area. Dementia lacks a clinical treatment and we hear atrocious stories of the inhumane way in which dementia patients are treated. While we wait for new treatments to come on stream, advances can be made in sufferers' humane treatment and self-expression. 'Frames of Mind' does exactly that."

Another Housing 21 Dementia Voice project, Growing with Dementia, was also shortlisted. The project at Tresham Day Centre, has helped service users to turn part of the garden into a vegetable patch. The service users: 

  • plan which vegetables to plant
  • decide what to cook each week based on which of their crops are ready to eat.

Growing vegetables helps service users to stay healthy and the involvement of local businesses and interest groups in the project provides an opportunity to connect with the wider community.