We’re excited to announce a forthcoming project: Remote Reminiscence – Getting Elders Online

Starting in summer 2021, we will set up a multi-platform resource aimed at engaging older people in reminiscence in a way that makes it easy for them to access memories, share experiences, encourage lifelong learning and have both digital and practical resources as a way to develop a sense of community and reduce isolation at this challenging time.

We will do so through recorded video activity sessions, online reminiscence groups and written downloadable resources which can be used distinctly or in conjunction with the sessions.

This is a way to encourage older people to find new ways to engage with peers, supporting and enabling those 65+ to become part of the new online developments taking place as a result of Covid, and support those finding this difficult, to explore new ways to meet for company and conversation in this digital sphere.

We will free run online reminiscence sessions for the over 65s in Hastings and St Leonards, Bexhill and Eastbourne, starting in September 2021.

We work regularly with older people and want to support them to participate in new technological ways of engagement. People age 65+ in East Sussex will benefit. Over a year, we will develop resources, create activities, promote and run 25 sessions with five groups of older people.

We will aim to engage participants through our website, mailing list, social media and through our networks of groups including Isabel Blackman Centre and Southwater Centre in St Leonards, Hastings, RVS Eastbourne and Bexhill Senior Citizens Club.

From this we will be better able to develop our remote reminiscence reach to older people, their families, carers and care homes too which will enable our organisation to become robust whilst also offering services that we previously did in person. We also hope it will feed into our potential new online reminiscence training for staff, volunteers and organisations. This is an entirely new project for us

This project means we will change, adapt and respond to new and future challenges by building strong relationships in and across communities.

One of our reminiscence sessions

We will do this by creating:

* 20 recorded video reminiscence activities (utilising physical resources and materials) on a variety of themes: childhood, working life, courtship, going out and food etc. Situated on our YouTube channel for participants (with a passcode), these can be accessed at any time

* 5 x 5 group zoom sessions – participants can drop in/sign up for all or some, joining in each week for five weeks

* Accompanying activity support packs created and saved as a PDF resource and hosted on our website to download. These will be designed to be used in conjunction with and to support the online sessions, encouraging those unsure or concerned about computers to engage more easily

* Project signposting to ensure continuity of service

At a reminiscence event

About Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage’s work:

Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage has been working with older people since its’ inception in 2010. Prior to that our four directors have extensive experience and engagement with older people and groups too.

Throughout this current period, we have been engaging with, talking to and discussing with individual older people, third age services and their users via email, Zoom and phone about how best to support engagement without physically being able to deliver our existing activities and services.

Once we have delivered this in Hastings, we can do so in Bexhill, Eastbourne and rural pockets of deprivation making the plans relevant, viable and cost effective as well as continuing to engage one of our main target groups – those aged 65+ in Sussex.