Thanks for the memories

Memory Bank

Sunderland Libraries Services have gifted Memory Bank Sunderland DVD pack to 50 residential and care homes throughout Sunderland to assist care staff to help and support the wellbeing of all residents in their care, particularly through the current Covid-19 lockdown.

Memory Bank Sunderland is a unique reminiscence tool commissioned by Sunderland Libraries Service to answer the needs of healthcare professionals for a visual resource and was created partnership with the North East Film Archive using archive film to help support the older generation and the challenges they may face.

The distribution of the packs coincided with National Dementia Awareness Week, which aims to help people learn more about the illness and raise money to try and find treatment and a cure. Symptoms of Dementia can include forgetting names, faces and recent events, finding it hard to use the right words or understand other people, and a change in emotions such as becoming easily upset or angry.

Councillor John Kelly, the Portfolio holder for Communities and Culture, said: "Memory Bank Sunderland is a wonderful resource designed to use archive film to unlock memories, prompting conversation and bring back to life previously shared memories. It can be used within a multitude of environments such as residential, day care, dementia cafes, hospitals and hospices for structured reminiscence work or as part of social events.

"Sunderland City Council is thrilled to be able to gift this resource and hope all residents and colleagues enjoy watching these through these challenging times."

Care homes across Sunderland are using the packs to help their residents interact with each other more. Elizabeth Fleming Care Home hosted a day to celebrate Dementia Awareness Week by using the DVD’s to help their residents remember their lives in Sunderland.

Gloria Keegan, the Home Administrator at Elizabeth Fleming Care Home, said: "Memory Bank DVD's are a great aid for our residents. They bring back memories for them and provides lots of smiles and laughter.

"It allows them to chat about a certain place or song, and who they were with – a mother or father, their children and siblings. This often creates fantastic conversations between our residents."

Find out more about Sunderland Libraries Services at

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