It’s good to talk: museum project helps care home residents remember the past

A Barnsley Museums project is helping care-home residents reminisce about years gone by and is encouraging Barnsley families to take the time to talk and share memories.

The project is all part of Barnsley Cares. Led by Barnsley Museums and funded by Arts Council England, the initiative aims to reach out to local communities, and particularly to older people and those living in care homes, encouraging them to participate in activities centred around heritage and the arts.

In normal times, the project brings the joy and fascination of local museum collections to people and groups who can’t always visit them in person. One of the main areas of focus has been reminiscence, with the team regularly visiting dementia cafes, care homes and community centres, taking with them slices of history to encourage fond memories of the past.

It's proved to be a brilliant way to encourage communication, make connections, and stimulate conversations between generations that make a real difference to people’s lives.

The project team, partners and volunteers have been busy making sure all that can continue.

Over fifty care packs containing archive film of Barnsley gone by, activities, and history related games are being sent all across Barnsley, to prompt residents of care homes and others to talk, share their stories, remember and find comfort in unsettling times. The packs are available by request via

On social media, reminiscence films will be shared every Monday afternoon, starting 4 May, to encourage friends and relatives to talk about past events, evoking cherished memories and creating more happy moments.

Local people of all ages are encouraged to talk about their memories and times gone by too, whether family members chatting at home, or catching up with friends, family or older family members by phone, on social media and via webcams too.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place (Regeneration and Culture) said: “The work of Barnsley Cares is invaluable. The project brings light, laughter and stimulation into the lives of many through the history and the amazing collections connected to our amazing borough.  It is brilliant that their work can continue and we hope that the resources that they share will bring a smile to those who need it most and offer a feeling of cheer and togetherness during these unprecedented times.”

These activities are part of the wider Barnsley Museums digital programme which supports communities with health and wellbeing through connections to arts, heritage, landscapes and nature.

For more information about the programme visit

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