PSS Workshops 2014/15: Jeanne-Marie Kenny

Memory Boxes with the Dementia Befriending Service

Monday 7 July & Wednesday 23 July 2014


In these workshops for participants living with dementia, Jeanne-Marie used collage techniques to help them to create beautiful unique keepsake boxes.

In the first week, Jeanne-Marie worked with the participants on decorating empty cigar boxes. They were invited to bring some of their own photographs to incorporate their personal memories into the boxes. She also provided various magazines for them to choose pictures that were meaningful to them which they then used to cover the boxes.

The second week participants explored collaging techniques further, positioning photos and magazine pictures onto boards which were then put into picture frames.

“The participants… all engaged with the activity and produced pieces that were meaningful to them. These projects provided an opportunity for the participants to exercise their memory, which is affected by their condition. Some had family members who had come to assist who enjoyed incorporating the family photos into the work.”

– Jeanne-Marie Kenny

“The sessions were very successful and provided a lot of fun. The activity of decoupage, and using it to decorate ‘memory boxes’ allowed the participants to reminisce and provided an opportunity to share memories and create conversations.  It allowed the group to interact socially with each other, which was useful for both the people living with dementia and their carers / support workers. The participants gained a sense of achievement from what they had accomplished and it allowed for their own creativity to be explored. I would recommend both Jeanne-Marie and the activity of decoupage to fellow colleagues as an engaging and creative way of increasing participation and reducing social isolation.”

– Project Assistant, Dementia Befriending Service

The PSS Dementia Befriending Service provides basic assistance to people with dementia and their carers. It gives people with dementia the opportunity to meet new people, try new things and develop a new social group. For those who care for someone with dementia it gives the time to go out and do some shopping, meet some friends or do other things they might not usually be able to.