These reminiscence resources have been created by the Caribbean Social Forum, in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum, to support people living with dementia and their carers.

Inspired initially by the Waterline Collection, a collection of 16,500 historic photographs, the resources have been created to prompt memories, spark conversation and support sharing.

A spread from a booklet talking about the Memories of the Caribbean project, with photos and quotes from participants

The resources have been developed specifically for Caribbean communities living in the UK, taking into consideration the childhood experiences that these individuals may have had either in the Caribbean or in the UK during the 40s and 50s. 

The resources are made up of:

  • an introduction booklet
  • 5 activity sheets that include memory prompts and conversations starters
  • 5 themed packs of resource cards, linked to the activity sheets. 

Download the resources for free below.

Download the resources

Tap the arrows to find out more about each activity.

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Introduction

This introduction explains the benefits of reminiscence, and provides examples of memories shared by the Caribbean Social Forum in response to images from the Waterline Collection.

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Childhood

Talking about childhood can be a useful moment to develop a better understanding of someone’s early experiences.

Download the activity sheet and postcard resource pack below and follow the prompts.

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Coming to England

Many people living with dementia may share recollections of their own journey to England, or of saying goodbye to a family member who would be making the journey. There may be feelings of excitement or sadness shared.

Download the activity sheet and postcard resource pack below and follow the prompts.

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Settling in England

Once they arrived in England, people had to find a home, work and community. When sharing memories about settling in England, upsetting memories may be shared, about difficulties finding work and a home due to racism.

Feelings of loneliness and displacement may also be shared, to which a sensitive response is needed. Sit back and share stories by following the instructions below.

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Food

Images of food and the smell of certain ingredients can be used to spark memories for someone living with dementia.

Unlock the stories and some of those secrets by using the activity sheet and resource cards below.

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Music

Playing music can prompt memories, with the person’s musical memory often unaffected by dementia. Music also plays an important role in raising someone’s mood, helping support their wellbeing.

Follow the activity sheet and resource card below.

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The Waterline Collection and other sources of inspiration

An important part of this project was the digitisation of the Waterline Collection, which consists of 16,500 photographs that tell the story of the leisure-cruising industry.

Within this are images taken between 1929-49 of the islands of Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica and St Kitts. These images became the starting point for the development of these culturally-specific reminiscence resources. 

Below are some of the images that were digitised. Some of these resonated with the Caribbean Social Forum members working on this project, whilst others may resonate with others. 

Thank your to partners and supporters

In 2021, the National Maritime Museum and Caribbean Social Forum were awarded funding by the Windrush Fund to deliver a project celebrating and commemorating the contributions of the Windrush Generation to British society. One part of this project was the development of culturally specific reminiscence resources, created in partnership and inspired by the collections of the National Maritime Museum. 

A working group of members from the Caribbean Social Forum was facilitated by Urban Dandelion, with museum staff support, to explore the Waterline Collection, visit the Prince Philip Maritime Collection Centre, and to ultimately develop a reminiscence resource made up of activities, prompts and objects. The group selected the themes and discussed activities, prompts and objects over a series of workshops. 

The final resource covers childhood in the 1940s and 50s, the journeys many took to come to England, settling in England, food and music. It's made up up of objects that can be touched, looked at, smelled and listened to. Everything in the resource will support sharing, in turn ensuring people living with dementia feel valued.

A group of women clap in celebration as they watch a musical performance

Windrush Histories

From recordings and podcasts to interviews and resources, listen to the stories of the Windrush generation - and learn about the contributions they made to British society

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