New museum Christmas fundraising appeal aims to support people living with dementia in Sheffield

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This festive season Museums Sheffield is taking part in the UK’s largest online match funding campaign with a new fundraising appeal aiming to raise £4,000 for a new project to enrich the lives of people living with dementia in Sheffield.

Taking place Tue 28 Nov – Tue 5 Dec, The Big Give Christmas Challenge will support a new series of Dementia Friendly Museum and Gallery Café events designed to support people living with dementia in the city and their carers, and delivered by Museums Sheffield and Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust across our unique venues. Thanks to the generosity of Museums Sheffield’s Challenge partners, the Postcode Support Trust and city businesses Counter Context and Quality Context, any donations made online during this week will be doubled.

In Sheffield, around 6000 people are diagnosed with dementia. Aspects of socialising and remaining independent can be difficult when a person develops dementia, and people can feel isolated and unable to visit the places they enjoy. The new Dementia Friendly Café programme will provide opportunities for people living with dementia to meet new people and socialise in Sheffield’s welcoming museum and gallery spaces.

Enjoying cultural activities can have a powerful impact on physical and mental health, and on those living with long-term conditions including dementia. Museums give people a unique opportunity to reflect on their lives and the world they live in. Objects from Sheffield’s historic museum collections can bring the past to life – from the places we’ve lived and worked to events and celebrations in the city’s history that we’ve experienced together. Dementia Friendly Museum and Gallery Cafés will use object handling, creative sessions and the stories in Sheffield’s collections to encourage participants to share their own stories and memories.

Kim Streets, Chief Executive at Museums Sheffield said: “At Museums Sheffield we believe that access to arts and culture transforms lives and work hard to provide a great museums and galleries service for everyone, every day. We hope our Dementia Friendly Cafes in collaboration with Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust will build confidence and support people with dementia and their carers, who might otherwise encounter barriers to visiting cultural venues.”

Christine Green, Friend of Museums Sheffield and Dementia Champion said: “It’s fantastic that Museums Sheffield are fundraising to deliver Dementia Friendly Museum and Gallery Cafes – people living with dementia have got so much to offer society, and can live well with the support of family, carers and society. As a carer for my mother living with dementia, I’ve seen first-hand how opportunities like this can impact on the lives of people living with dementia and the people who support them.”

Alexis Krachai, Managing Director of Counter Context and Associate Director of Quality Context: “We are always looking for ways to support our city and are delighted to join Museums Sheffield on their Big Give Christmas Challenge. It’s vital that businesses in Sheffield support our fantastic museums and galleries and this initiative does that, whilst also making a genuine difference to the lives of those living with dementia. We’re really proud to be involved.”

Take part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge between 12noon on Tuesday 28 November and 12noon on Tuesday 5 December and see your donation doubled: Click here