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Sharing memories competition successfully raises awareness of the importance of reminiscence therapy

This summer, care homes across the UK were invited to take part in the #GladtoCare competition about residents’ favourite memories to raise awareness of the importance of reminiscence therapy for people living with dementia.

The competition was run by Person Centred Software with support from InteractiveMe and Sporting Memories.

Galanos Lodge in Warwickshire, part of the Royal British Legion group, has won the #GladtoCare competition with a resident’s entertaining memory of the mishaps that happened to him and his wife on the way to the church for a double wedding with his wife’s sister and her fiancé. Galanos Lodge win a tablet and three profiles on InteractiveMe’s bespoke app for reminiscence.

The runners up are Haulfryn Care in North Wales and Sheff Care in Sheffield that both win a Sporting Memories Care Package for their care homes.

An esteemed panel of judges including Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, Vic Rayner, Executive Director of the National Care Forum, David Brindle, the Guardian’s public services editor, Sam Dondi-Smith,

Founder of interactiveMe and Tony Jameson-Allen, Co-Founder and Director of The Sporting Memories Foundation, chose the winning and runner up entries.

Professor Martin Green says, “It is great to be a part of these awards, which celebrate the important role memories have in our lives and to our wellbeing.”

Vic Rayner says, “This is a fantastic way to capture memories! I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to view these snapshots of people’s lives. We live in an era where we capture our every moment on film, so it is wonderful to see the power of words in painting a picture of lives well lived.”

David Brindle says, “From the joys of outside loos to flying on Concorde, memories are made of this. But isn’t it great to see that people are still making memories – and friends – in their care environments? It’s a time to reflect but also to thrive.”

Sam Dondi-Smith says, “On behalf of the team at InteractiveMe, I would like to express our gratitude to Person Centred Software for being invited to play a key part in this year’s #GladtoCare competition. Memories play such an important part in engaging residents in meaningful and therapeutic activity which is what InteractiveMe is all about.”

Tony Jameson-Allen says, “I’m thrilled to have been asked to judge the #GladtoCare competition and I really enjoyed reading the entries of residents’ favourite memories. At Sporting Memories, we see how staff go the extra mile to make sure residents could not only share their favourite memories, but also re-engage with the sports they once watched or played. I am delighted to present both runners up with the Sporting Memories package to engage with residents’ remarkable stories which will have a real impact on their mental and physical wellbeing.”

The #GladtoCare competition was designed to raise awareness of the importance of reminiscence for people living with dementia. In June 2019, NICE updated its quality standard on dementia to include the recommendation that people with dementia should be offered activities that can help promote wellbeing, which includes reminiscence therapy. Care home staff were invited to chat to residents and find out what their favourite memory was and share it to enter the competition. Person Centred Software received nearly 60 entries of residents’ favourite memories of families, travelling and holidays, weddings and special birthdays.

InteractiveMe provides an Occupational Therapy service and bespoke app to enhance mental stimulation and evidence one-to-one engagement with care home residents. Sporting Memories is a community-based sport and physical activity project to help tackle people’s dementia, depression and loneliness using the power of sporting reminiscence.

Person Centred Software provides the care sector’s most widely used electronic care planning, monitoring and reporting system, Mobile Care Monitoring. Over 1,500 care homes in the UK are now realising benefits of using the system to evidence care electronically. In March 2019, Person Centred Software launched a new ‘Who I Am’ feature to enable staff to provide a more responsive and personalised quality of care for residents living with dementia and improve their quality of life. As dementia diagnoses rise, dementia care in residential care settings is becoming increasingly important.

Below is the winning entry:



Our Double Wedding – My wife and I had a double wedding along with her sister and her fiancé. My wife’s father was a journeyman engineer, which meant he travelled the country a lot. With him being away from home a lot we set a date for when we knew he would be back at home.

On the day we wore our brand new suits and our brides looked lovely. We ended up going to the church on a tram car although we were supposed to go by taxi. We were waiting and waiting, and the taxi didn’t turn up. It was a good job we were on a main tram route! The two grooms stood in the middle of the road holding our hands up and the tram came to a stop with a screech of brakes and sparks. The tram driver said, “What do you want mate?” So we explained to the driver about the taxi not turning up and he got out of his cab and stood facing the passengers in the middle of the aisle and said “Ladies and Gentlemen I am afraid that we are going to be late”, and he explained the situation. Well, everyone clapped then the driver passed a metal dish around for a collection to wish them luck. When we got on the tram everyone cheered!

What a vicar – he nearly married us to the wrong people! After the ceremony we got the bus from the church to the Band of Hope hall in Liverpool. Do you know that bus driver helped to raise £40!


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