A food, health and wellbeing partnership project with the Sainsbury Archive and Portland Basin Museum, supported by the Linbury Trust. Together we wanted to offer access to collections, get people participating online and make an age and dementia-friendly resource that works for everyone.

Over the course of two years, we used collections for dementia-friendly co-creation and co-curation. As collaborative artists, archive and museum workers, we offered a range of ways to explore archives, spark conversations and share ideas and memories onsite, online and face-to-face. We found our way there through social media content, a loan project and co-curated exhibition, co-creation workshops and sharing practice.

The ‘Food Glorious Food’ exhibition at Portland Basin Museum (Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside) became an important space for connecting as Covid restrictions began to lift; an immersive environment for our face-to-face co-creation workshops with social prescribing, dementia and wellbeing workers, and veteran Sainsbury’s staff from the North East, and also for our co-production and wellbeing practice sharing with museum and archive workers.

Online, our 12 social media films got people talking on Twitter and inspired content for the Sainsbury Archive website. Zoom workshops allowed us to consult with NAPA Wellbeing Manager and co-create with NAPA’s advisory group of care sector workers on the front line from Tyne & Wear to Suffolk.

Our collaboration produced a pilot physical ‘Food for Talk’ resource pack filled with Grab & Go activities to inspire conversations, offering prompts for quick, easy reminiscence and sensory tools to connect and tips to engage from people who prioritise wellbeing in care settings. These wipeable, large print packs are available to staff (and families) in 16 care homes, 3 museums, 2 archives, a nursing and neuro rehabilitation, and through Tameside social prescription and wellbeing services.

Here’s what our care sector collaborators had to say…

“For reminiscence, we need to bring things forward and call them to mind. There is something for everyone in that pack; everybody eats, everyone has memories of where their food came from when they were younger.

You get something different every time – and in a group one person’s memory sparks something for someone else. We had a lot of fun and a lot of chatting.

It works really well in a care environment because the people who are in care today have a lot to teach us.”

Everyone can download our free Food For Talk shopping memories digital resource

Food for Talk Project Acknowledgements…
An interference-art partnership with the Sainsbury Archive and Portland Basin Museum (Tameside Council)
Co-created with: Sainsbury’s Veterans Association, National Activity Providers Association, Action Together Tameside social prescribing and community wellbeing teams and Tameside Archives.
With thanks to: Sainsbury’s Veterans Association,The News (Sainsbury’s Veterans Association print and online magazine), Louise Thompson (Museum Mindfulness), Museum of London and Museum of Brands.
Supported by: The Linbury Trust