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Residents’ memories shared with students in Halcyon House exhibition

Memory sessions at Abbeyfield’s Halcyon House, a residential care home in Formby for older people, are always a hit with the residents, who love to share their stories from the years gone by.

Activities Coordinator Liam explains, “Each session, someone brings in an item or photograph that has special meaning for them, or shares a special memory, and we discuss it as a group.

The residents love reliving experiences from their youth, but most are unable to make the trip to museums where such experiences are often recorded and displayed, due to their care needs. However, Liam and the Halcyon House team were determined to ensure their residents did not miss out and set out to create a museum-style environment at the home instead.

Liam had a sizeable collection of 1940’s and 1950’s memorabilia, and other staff also brought in items they had from the era. Residents contributed too, including Michael, aged 90, who lent a model Mosquito and Bowfighter airplane, and many examples of literature from the rallies at RAF Woodvale, where he worked for over 40 years.

Liam diligently researched each item and provided a short write-up which, coupled with the collection, were displayed in a museum-style exhibition at the home.

The home was keen to invite local schoolchildren to visit as an educational opportunity, and residents were more than happy to share with them memories of the war and their childhoods.

Michael was delighted to recount his days at Woodvale to the students.

He says, “They showed a surprising amount of interest in something that happened so long ago. Some of them told me that they had grandparents and relatives who were actually based at Woodvale themselves, so we bonded over that. Before they left I asked them what they thought of us, and I was very pleased to hear how interesting and knowledgeable they thought we all were!

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