‘A story like ours’ campaign exhibits in dementia awareness week


An Inspired Youth media and film campaign commissioned by JRF is set to launch a public exhibition during National Dementia Awareness week. The exhibition, which features positive portraits featuring people living with dementia and their families and Carers, will be showcased at City Of York Council’s West Offices from 18th to 22nd May, before a public exhibition at Kings Manor on Saturday the 23rd May between 1-4pm. The work aims to contribute to the already excellent work being done in York to raise awareness of dementia, challenge attitudes and reduce stigma.

The campaign includes a range of media including films, a people focused exhibition, life stories and a series of posters. The work, created in partnership with Harmony Café and JRF aims to present positive portraits of people living with dementia with a focus on characters and relationships.

The striking photographs, shot for Inspired Youth by Scott Akoz photography, were taken over several months working in partnership with Minds In Motion, a student charity that runs ‘Harmony Café’ in Tang Hall. It is an amazing monthly event for people living with dementia (run entirely by a group of dedicated students) and is regularly attended by up to 100 people.

Two films also produced as part of the campaign will be screened before feature films at York City Screen Picture House during Dementia Awareness Week.

Kev Curran, director of Inspired Youth said, “It has been an incredible journey creating this work and a humbling experience meeting people in the community living with dementia. Harmony Café is one of the most inspiring places I have ever experienced and we are grateful to the student volunteers who helped us to bring this hugely important body of work together. It is refreshing to see young people and older people sharing company, stories and experiences. People living with dementia come from all walks of life, and they are all effected to varying extremes, but they are just people, with their own story. It is a pleasure to share their stories with the community, we hope it raises awareness and challenges attitudes.”

Following the public exhibitions, the work will be available to local organisations and businesses who may wish to display them. If you would like to host the exhibition you can contact Joseph Rowntree Foundation direct.

Katherine Blaker, Community Development Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said “people living with dementia have told us in our research, that one of the greatest challenges to living a full and active life, is the fear and stigma associated with dementia.  By focusing on the warmth and love evident in these peoples’ relationships, A Story Like Ours highlights that people living with dementia are people just like you and I with a past, a present and a future.”

Heather Lyiask, leader of Harmony Café said, “A Story Like Ours has given so many people at Harmony Café the opportunity to reflect on just how fantastic their lives and stories are. The project has been so uplifting, inspiring and moving for both guests and student volunteers and we are all so grateful to the wonderful people at JRF and Inspired Youth who have made this possible. We can’t wait to celebrate the lives of so many of our guests at the launch during Dementia Awareness Week on Saturday 23rd May and look forward to showing the public that there is a lot more to those living with dementia than is commonly assumed.”

You can see all the work online at astorylikeours.wordpress.com