A series of short, inventive videos have been proving very popular with older adults facing lockdown. They have been designed by freelance creative practitioner Jenn Bell, who programmed the monthly Afternoon at the Museum session at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery before the Coronavirus pandemic.

The monthly meeting sessions are produced for older people, people living with dementia and their carers.  Those attending Afternoon at the Museum sessions explore the museum’s diverse collections, talk about local history, share stories and take part in a range of activities. 

Quote from participant of Afternoon at the Museum session, "They're enjoyable activities and the chat is good.  Talking and sharing is important.  It’s a nice group who all seem to have a good time.  It gets me out and being sociable."

While the museum has been closed, Jenn has been producing Creative Snippet videos to bring a little light relief to those spending a lot more time at home. The weekly episodes have received over 1,100 views thus far and are a good way of maintaining contact with regular attendees. Highlights included a Doris Day singalong, songs from The Sound of Music, a performative retelling of Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat featuring improvised props and a real cat, a banana themed video and several simple dances to move along to.

Jenn Bell, Community & Young People Coordinator (Maternity Cover), Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery “My Creative Snippet videos are simply designed to bring a smile to people's faces an opportunity to join in. They’ve included a familiar poem, simple dance movements and well-known songs. I’ve also provided suggestions for other creative resources, which can be found online here

The videos are being shared with Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, where Jenn runs a weekly session called Setting the Scene for people living with dementia and their carers.  With many staff at both venues on the government’s furlough scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more vital for creative organisations to pull together and share resources to better support the communities across the county.