• A room with 1940s furniture and furnishings
  • A 1930s style kitchen

Basingstoke’s Milestones Museum is heading back to the Swinging Sixties with the introduction of a new, 1960s room set that will be used to support and increase awareness of the needs of older members of the community, including those living with dementia and their carers. 

The museum has secured Pride in Place funding of £21,910 from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, plus an additional £2,690 from charity SCLT, to develop a room set consisting of a 1960s kitchen, bedroom and lounge, showing what a real home would have looked like during the period. The three rooms, collectively known as the memory lounge, will offer a lived experience of making, keeping and being at home in the ‘60s, and will be designed to inspire and spark curiosity. The memory lounge will be offered as a free resource to dementia groups and care homes in Basingstoke for the twelve-month life of the funding, after which it will be opened up to wider groups and the general public.

The project also opens up new ways to volunteer at Milestones, with up to 10 volunteers being recruited from the Basingstoke area to deliver participation sessions. As well as recruiting and training volunteers, over the coming months programme content will be developed and the memory lounge will be installed at the museum. The first sessions will be trialled in the autumn, followed by a fuller programme in early 2025. In addition to the familiar surroundings of the memory lounge, the sessions will be complemented by everyday objects from the 1960s, which will help trigger positive memories in those participating, providing insight into their life story and engendering a sense of happiness and wellbeing. 

Deborah Neubauer, director of community and impact at Hampshire Cultural Trust, which operates Milestones Museum, commented: “The introduction of the memory lounge really is a very exciting development for Milestones. Not only will we be able to offer a much-needed programme that helps and supports the older members of our community and those living with dementia in Basingstoke, but it will also mean that Milestones will better reflect the lived experiences of our community and visitors, bringing the museum forward into living memory.”

Banner image: the current 1940s room set at Milestones Museum

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