In April 2023 the Hunebed Centre and the WelZINN organisation joined together in a project which involved inviting around 100 pensioners for a very special day. The Hunebed Centre has developed a programme called “A box full of stories” for older people, which encourages them to share their own memories and personal stories. Nadine Lemmers, head of education at the Hunebed Centre, explains: “As a museum we believe it is important that we are accessible for everyone and this programme makes visiting the museum easier.”
Memories and personal stories
WelZINN organises themed weeks of activities and this time the focus was on Drenthe and its history. “We are very pleased that we could visit the Hunebed Centre as this programme is ideally suited for our target group” said Agnes van Linschoten of WelZINN. Seeing the hunebeds often brings back memories for people, such as their first holiday in Drenthe and the experience of seeing a real hunebed for the first time. Then at school they learn about prehistory from the wall posters showing pictures of hunebeds and the people who built them. This programme allows people the space and time to share these memories with each other and with the museum staff. In this way many remarkable stories can be preserved in the online collection of the Hunebed Centre.
The programme has been developed by the Hunebed Centre as part of the European project Dementia in Cultural Mediation (DCUM)*, in collaboration with the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands and other partners in the Netherlands and in other countries. The made-to-measure programme is designed primarily for people with dementia and their carers, but is also suitable for use by other groups where it is important for people to get to know each other and interact together.
* The DCUM project is a transnational project motivated by the increasing number of people suffering from dementia in Europe. The project is based on the great potential of using culture and cultural activities to create social inclusion for people with dementia.
To achieve this, the DCUM project increases the competencies of Cultural Mediators working in cultural institutions (e.g. libraries, museums and civil society organizations) through the exchange of tools and learning of new ways to practice cultural mediation aimed at people with dementia.
Text Riemke Scharff
Translation Alun Harvey