The Memory Box Project, a scheme for people with dementia has been named the Best Health and Care Project at Basingstoke’s Community Awards.

The memory boxes are used for reminiscence sessions with patients, relatives, carers and staff in the hospitals at Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, which are run by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

They are a joint scheme with Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust and the Wessex Heritage Trust, whose volunteers run the sessions. The project is funded by The Big Lottery Fund.

Donna Green, chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “The memory boxes are an excellent way of stimulating patients’ long term memory and boosting their confidence.

“This project is a perfect example of joint working between the NHS and the voluntary sector and we really appreciate the time and commitment of the volunteers who run the sessions.”

There are 12 themed memory boxes including, home and garden, work, schooldays and seaside and holidays.

They are designed to:

Increase the wellbeing and recovery times of patients with dementia by engaging in reminiscence sessions, both one-to-one and in groups

Establish a volunteer team who will enable patients with dementia to capture and share memories

Increase awareness among healthcare staff, giving them the tools to meet the needs of patients with dementia

Enable the local community, volunteers and staff to gain an understanding into local history and increase patients and staff’s understanding of different cultures.

Clinical matron Alison McGinnes added: “Our patients and staff get so much out of The Memory Box Project as do the volunteers who find it very fulfilling working on a one-to-one basis or in groups.

“Volunteers are always welcome and we offer flexible hours and provide full training, including reminiscence training, and ongoing support.”

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