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Hand i Pocket Dementia Awareness Funshop at Wales Millennium Centre



​Examples of Hand i Pockets

​Cardiff Metropolitan University is collaborating with Age Cymru and Alzheimer’s Society to host a creative ‘funshop’ to coincide with Age Positive Week (27th September - 4th October). The Hand i Pocket Funshop is a free public event to be held at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 3rd October led by Prof Cathy Treadaway from the Centre of Applied Research in Inclusive Arts and Design (CARIAD) at Cardiff Met.

People who drop in to the Hand i Pocket Funshop will be invited to make and decorate a pocket for someone with dementia, using an enticing array of cloth, thread, buttons and beads, with plenty of help and inspiration on hand. The idea is to create textile pockets that are visually stimulating, interesting or soothing to touch and fun to fiddle with. They might have things hidden inside or be a place to put things. Pockets could be made for specific people and include things personal to them and their life story.

Hand i Pocket Funshops enable people to share stories through the making process and have been found to be useful ways of building support groups for families and carers. Volunteers from Age Cymru and Alzheimer’s Society will be on hand on Saturday to advise on free services available to families and carers of people with dementia.

The Hand i Pocket methodology was first developed by Professor Cathy Treadaway, Professor of Creative Practice at CARIAD, Cardiff School of Art and Design, and Dr. Gail Kenning, UTS in Sydney in 2014, in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Australia and is now being used in countries around the world to build creative communities that address the global challenge of caring for people with dementia.

Professor Treadaway’s research has shown that sensory textiles help calm, comfort and engage people with dementia for whom life can be limited and communication often difficult. Saturday’s event is open to people of all ages. Children are welcome but must have an adult with them at all times to supervise them. No previous experience with textile crafts are required just enthusiasm to have fun making something that will also be enjoyable for someone with dementia to experience.

Age Positive Week runs until Sunday October 4 with the Hand i Pocket Funshop taking place on Saturday October 3rd from 11:00am to 4:00pm.