Unlocking memories through historic brands

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A Kensington and Chelsea museum helping Londoners with dementia to unlock memories has received an £80,000 cash boost.

The Trust awarded the money to the Museum of Brands to fund a new London-wide project exploring the power of everyday household products to evoke the past and inspire new ideas.

Advertising and brands are known to have value in reminiscence work by using the powerful ability of familiar objects and signage from the past to unlock memories.

The Museum has a unique set of resources with the evocative power to engage and stimulate memory through creative, multi-sensory activities. Participants can listen to old advertising jingles, sniff smelling samples such as Lifebuoy Soap – introduced by Lever Brothers in 1895 in England – and handle collections of replica branded goods from years gone by.

Over 40,000 people aged over 60 have visited the museum since its launch and the organisation has run three dementia-related projects which have been shown to improve older people’s wellbeing.

The £80,000 grant will fund a full-time project worker and project costs, allowing the Museum of Brands to take Brand Memories into care homes for those older people unable to travel.

 

Anna Terry, Development Director of the Museum of Brands said:

“We are delighted to have the support of City Bridge Trust for this exciting new project, which is the cumulation of the knowledge we’ve gained from working with people with dementia over the past 10 years.

“At the Museum of Brands we are committed to reaching wider and bigger audiences and this project marks our first significant outreach initiative, helping us take our inspiring and emotive collection to people who are unable to visit in person.

“We have seen how well people living with dementia respond to the heritage brands, posters and jingles in our collection and look forward to exploring this further. We are grateful to City Bridge Trust for helping us to work with new audiences and expand our remit by supporting the establishment of a new department in our Museum.”

 

The Brand Memories programme will be supported by a team of Londoners who will gain experience in Museum education and working with the elderly.

 

A volunteer, Maria Franco said:

“As a qualified teacher with a passion for art and design, the opportunity to volunteer and work at the Museum is exciting. I enjoy gaining new skills such as running workshops, crafting social media posts and sharing the evolution of our everyday products and brands with learners of all ages and nationalities.”

Established in 2002, and first opened in London in 2005, the Museum of Brands is an educational charity and aims to improve quality of life and increase social inclusion for the public through the arts, specifically providing access to over 15,000 objects and preserving the heritage of brands, packaging and advertising.

It also aims to deliver high quality learning experiences for schools and colleges and runs family and community programmes including targeted work such as reminiscence programmes. Last year the museum received 57,000 visitors.

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