The Red House Museum and Gardens has been awarded £50,000 of National Lottery support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a dementia-friendly heritage project, Still Curious.
The project aims to reach over 1000 people living with dementia and their carers over the next two years. It will create an accessible ground floor activity space from which the museum will run a new museum memory café and will give people with dementia the opportunity to socialise, take part in activities and engage with their local heritage in a welcoming and supportive environment.
Still Curious will also see the development of a new dementia-friendly heritage health walk and a collection of heritage curiosity boxes. These boxes will contain a selection of mystery artefacts and images from the museum’s collections and will be used by trained volunteers as talking points to encourage discussion with groups of people with dementia and their carers, both at the museum and out in the community.
The Red House Museum is a significant historical landmark in the area. Originally built as the parish workhouse, the museum now explores the story of Christchurch from before the Ice Age until the turn of the 20th century. More than 60 local people currently volunteer their time to support the museum, which provides a focal point for community and family events.
The project is also being sponsored by Colten Care and supported by funding from Friends of the Red House Museum. The museum will be working closely with St Mark’s Dementia Support Group in Highcliffe throughout the project.