gofundme Sound Memories





Please help to raise funds to continue the ground breaking work of Sound Memories; a bespoke, award winning and beautiful collaborative arts project empowering older people, as well as their families &/or carers, to create dementia friendly resources and impact social change for a better life.



   



Here are some of the amazing Sound Memories outcomes to date:-



'We created and shared holistic, respectful, valued resources, made by older people themselves for each other, in a loving and respectful way'





'Sound Memories is a way of celebrating life with the individual, their family & friends,  not just within the services they attend, but also at home.'




Beryl Painting & her daughter, Amanda


'I got a greater understanding of the individual, finding out things I didn't know about them'


'Staff and families said that they found out things they never previously knew about the person.'

'Sound Memories is an innovative way of celebrating older people within local communities via strategic distribution with libraries relevant to the person's life.'





Bob Edwards


'Sound Memories enables integrated community events through the Global Pannad and other Events they've held.'

'Truly, it is impacting on how children understand dementia by being distributed to primary schools and used to train in  different pedagogies to teachers through Joseph Rowntree Foundation.'

'The Memoirs of Strang the Strong is being used as an anti-bullying resource in primary education.'



                          George Davies: Strang the Strong

Postcards from Louie has gone onto provide a Llansteffan based Story Trail for Primary School children and a project to deconstruct barriers in the local village, whereby children collaborated with older people to make books about each others lives.

On a National level, Sound Memories resources are now held by the UK wide National talking book services.



Ceredwen Jaques: Project Peer Volunteer

Sound Memories has been intergrated into mainstream Gallery exhibitions such as Greenspace Gallery, Carmarthenshire




Louie Davies





Resources are exhibited with The People's Collection Wales

And have had wonderful Media reviews in newspapers throughout Wales.

People with dementia have been empowered to make National strategic change as the Sound Memories body of work and model of working is now recommended as best practice in social care via the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 'A Better Life' practice based research website.

Through collaborative work with older people who live with dementia, Cheryl Beer who set up Sound Memories, has won a prize for Outstanding Contribution from the University of South Wales  2014 & a Wales Care Forum National Gold Award 2015.




                                   Betti Williams with Cheryl Beer


But most importantly, Sound Memories has listened, valued and preserved the remaining memories of our older community as a wonderful living social history, enabling the older community with and without dementia, not just in being empowered to help each other, but educate the world.




Cheryl, what is the Sound Memories Project?





Sound has an incredible impact on all of us. We know how music effects our mood and how songs from our teens stay with us throughout our lives, even when much else is forgotten.

Increasingly, we understand how sound can promote memory in new and innovative ways, reaching older people and enabling them to share the wonderful stories of their life with each other.





The Sound Memories project, was set up by myself, Cheryl Beer, inspired by Louie Davies, a 94 year old woman from Llanstephan, living in a Dementia friendly Residential Home. That's us in the picture above. 


You can read our full story if you click on the 

'To begin at the beginning' blogpost.





By collaborating as an artist via Sound Therapy & Story with Louie, her family and carers, as well as combining this work with my MA research, we found that older people can create far reaching reminiscence resources for themselves.

These collaborative resources are not only of immense benefit to older people as a peer group; they also enable older people to retain a sense of self  by making the kinds of valued contributions to society that they have made throughout their lives. 


For instance, Louie's Story CD Postcards from Louie is now in the National RNIB Talking Book service.


In addition to all the wonderful outcomes within the community, Sound Memories has also enabled older people with dementia to impact on National policy with regard to dementia care, by being part of the body of research informing 'A Better Life' funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation..



 ... And the winner of the Gold Award 
for Excellence in Dementia Care is Cheryl Beer 
Wales National  Awards 2015


Following on from the Award Winning success of Postcards from Louie, Georgie Muscles: The Memoirs of Strang the Strong & Singing with Betti: Am Calon Hapus, Sound Memories is currently focussed on 2 new digital sound collaboration areas :-


Global Pannad
Enabling older people to enable each other




Supporting Older people to record their Life Stories for each other, in the comfort of their own environment, over a cup of tea.




Recordings will form the basis of an online library, free to download as a dementia friendly reminiscence resource and living history archive to the global community. 

Informing Care settings, Doctor's Surgeries etc and the wider online community about the resource, to increase accessibility.






Rural Soundscapes 
Creating Dementia Friendly Sound Maps of Rural life




  • Collaborating with the farming community to make sound recordings of working farms, Counrty Marts, Horse Fairs and all associated rural opportunites.



  • Providing FREE downloadable soundscapes as part of the Sound Memories  digital library (listed above) for those who can no longer get down to the farm but that might remember and/or long to hear the early morning dairy cows or the tractor engines.

If you would like to contact me about Sound Memories 
please feel free to email ...

cherylbeermusic@gmail.com












Donations and Funding


Donations

 

Global Pannad
 Enabling older people to enable each other ...

... is currently funded through a Gofundme Campaign
(see above link) 

The Gofundme enables you to make
 kind donations to contribute towards  ...

Home Visits to Older people for 
Sound Therapy & Story

Sound & Story Visits at the Day Centre 

Set up a Sound Memories committee
 of older people in a Residential Care Home


Collate and edit digital stories with older people

Set up a Dementia Friendly Digital Library

Meet & recruit with Peer Volunteers

Maintain online communications 
via Gofundme, Facebook and this blog


Petrol and transport costs for attending Meetings 
with family members &/or carers 
of older people living with dementia 


Make funding applications

Write and distribute press releases

Network and spread the word


In addition to your kind donations, 
the Gofundme campaign also includes 
all funds raised from the sales 
from downloads of my meditation
 album, donated to the project in full:- 

'apples in the rain' CD 
available as a Digital Download  
£10.00 plus £2.00 VAT from ...
www. cherylbeer.bandcamp.com/releases




For those of you who prefer hard copy CD's 
you can purchase these knowing all proceeds are included in the Gofundme by sending ... 

£13.00 plus £2.00 postage and packaging
to paypal: cherylbeermusic@gmail.com



In my kitchen I have a Sound Memories Craft Stall where I am selling my paintings and art work donating all of the proceeds to fund my work. This is also included in the Gofundme total




I have been running Sound & Meditation Mornings in my home charging £10 per person. All of these proceeds are also donated to 
Sound Memories.

A full list of all the fundraising is listed at 
www.gofundme.com/sound-memories




Thank you for your loving support in purchasing CD's, Artwork & making kind donations. Off course, the funding is a tremendous help but actually, just knowing that we are making a change for a better life together, that we are being the change we want to see, is uplifting and empowers me to carry on. 



Funding



Rural Soundscapes

Creating Dementia Friendly Sound Maps of Rural life

I am very excited to announce that a 3 month Pilot of this project has been funded for one day per week by Carmarthenshire County Council Arts Department & Active Carmarthenshire
to commence January 2016 - March 2016

This funding has been added to the Gofundme total but is ring fenced and contracted for Rural Soundscapes

Please see ...  Rural Soundscapes blogpost for full details

NB: In addition, I have now  made  a match funding application  for a second day per week to personalise and link the Sound Map to the farms from which older people with dementia have lived, recording stories with them and their families 
to add to the Sound Memories Digital Library. 








Global Pannad


Global Pannad came out of an idea generated at Gwalia Cwm Aur Residential Home for Older People, 5 miles from Lampeter, nestled in the stunning Teifi valley in the market town of Llanybydder. 
                                                                                                    
It is a beautiful contemporary Residential home. 

When I arrived, I pressed the intercom system and a  friendly nurse greeted me and met me in reception. I got a sense right away that she would be someone that I hoped would be caring for my loved ones.

I explained who I was and what I do and she said how interesting it sounded and took me to see the Deputy Manager, who was busy talking to an older gentleman. She was calm and patient with him and he seemed re-assured.

Within that first 10 minutes I thought to myself ... I could live here. And this is how we should feel about residential homes.

The Deputy Manager took me to one of the lounge areas. It was roomy and warm, welcoming with a ‘cwtched in’ feel, personal enough for us to chat.

We talked about who might be interested in collaborating with me. She said that there are a small group of women who gather once a week for a pannad (which is Welsh for 'a cuppa'). 



Some days later, the Deputy Manager emailed me to let me know that the group are very excited about getting involved with Sound memories and have agreed for me to come and meet with them over afternoon tea in the first week of January 2016. I think will take locally made welsh cakes.

So much is discussed over afternoon tea in our culture. Friends meet, businesses do business, agreements are made... or broken, but what happens when you can no longer leave your bed? When going for afternoon tea with friends is something now out of your reach.

We are going to record our afternoon tea at Cwm Aur and make it part of the Sound Memories Digital Library. 

Then anyone who can't make it to an afternoon tea in the day room, can listen to it anywhere. It will be a sound resource to instigate conversations or keep those alone, company.

I remember some years ago, whist doing research for The Arts Council, going to St. Fagin’s and listening to archived recordings of interviews made with older people in the 1950's and 1960's. You can hear the cups and saucers clinking and the noises of the day. They are beautiful living history captures.

Global Pannad is wider than this one group who meet for tea. 

It is the tea I will take whilst recording everyone who takes part in the Digital Library and the tea that those listening will be motivated to take with us.

Through digital recordings and the power of the internet, we can invite the whole world to a Global afternoon tea with us, to share our stories of West Wales in a bygone day over a pannad. 

The recordings are a way of collating social history, building links between older people and enabling them to help each other.


I love it! Such a fabulous idea! How wonderful to find a Care Home with such an open heart and innovative spirit.


And all this is only possible due to the funding from you, dear friends, by donating to GoFundMe! 

With all my heart, I thank you for helping me, to help them, to help each other, to make it so J

Additional Note: Peer Advisory Committee

It is very important that older people are empowered to make their own decisions about the future of Sound Memories and to help with the running and administration of the project where possible. The group at Cwm Aur will be supported to become our Peer Advisory Committee. We'll have fun making our own leaflets and fliers. We'll chat about the project and I will listen and adapt at the advice of the peer advisers.





If you would like further information about how to get involved or you know an older person who might like to take part in some way, please feel free to email me at:

cherylbeermusic@gmail.com






Rural Soundscapes Funding News

Creating a Dementia Friendly Sound Map 
of Rural Carmarthenshire



EXCITING FUNDING NEWS ** EXCITING FUNDING NEWS


Rural Soundscapes: Creating a  dementia friendly sound-map of rural Carmarthenshire  is an innovative response via the Arts to the needs of the older community in rural Carmarthenshire that will have benefit to the whole community and serve as a landmark in terms of recording the sound of Seasonal Rural Living history, for the first time in West Wales.





The increase of those living with dementia nationally has led to more innovative ways of working with older people. 

For instance, Pipa Kelly (2015) talks at length about the trend for Care Farms that have been very popular in the Netherlands and how they are adapting to offer what she describes as a heart warming concept that 

'brings  people with dementia close to the smells, 
sights and sounds of the outdoors, 
to the breathing warmth of animals 
and the touch of the land'


Older people living with dementia who have lived rural lives, are being taken away from their rural environment and this takes them away from the sensory memories that may help them to stay connected to their ordinary patterns of living.


Picture by Towy Photo's


Care farms have gone a long way to prove the worth of re-uniting those living with dementia to their ordinary pattern of sensory life.

However, for those who do not have the ability to access the physicality of a Care farm, a collection of gentle, real time, soundscapes, mapping  out the areas within which they have lived their lives, brings back rural life to them through sound; the lambing season, milking the cows, sheering sheep, auctioning at the Mart, the horse fair ... the pounding rain, the rushing rivers, the gentle breezes, the wings of the red kite ... all these have been the backdrop of sounds that have defined the lives of those within rural Carmarthenshire.


 EXCITING FUNDING NEWS ** EXCITING FUNDING NEWS

I have some very exciting news. After a meeting last week with Arts Development Manager Eleri Retallick and subsequently submitting a project proposal for Rural Soundscapes, I can confirm that Carmarthenshire County Council & Active Carmarthenshire are funding a pilot of 'Rural Soundscapes' in the Pencader area between January and April 2016.

The beginning of this exciting partnership with Arts Development  is a tremendous step forward for  the work of Sound Memories.

The funding has come at a time when it is most needed but actually, although the funds are a relief, it is Eleri's faith and belief in my work, it is her response to Sound Memories and the Rural Sound Mapping that has given me such a tremendous lift.

Thank you is not not a big enough word. 



To keep up to date with the Rural Soundscapes Diary 
please visit www.facebook.com/groups/1664159173857931/
and add yourself to the group page.
  




Footnote:

I would like to thank Mary for all the hours she spent telling me about the farm where she had lived her life before coming to Gwalia Mynydd Mawr Dementia Friendly Care Home. It was in hearing her longing  to return to her farm and rural life that  I was inspired to visualise Rural Soundscapes. May you Rest in Peace, lovely Mary.  I guess they'll be no hungry cats in heaven now xx 




Our First Sound Memories Peer Volunteer



This is my friend, Ceredwen Jaques.

As a woman in her 70's, she is looking at what her options are in terms of selling her home and moving into residential care. It can be quite a daunting time that others of you will identify with.

She is a very dear friend of mine and has kindly agreed to become a volunteer with Sound Memories.

Her role will be to advise on the project, she would like to come to meetings at the Care Home with other older people and she will also help make our hand made marketing materials.

What really moved me was that Ceredwen said she has been an enabler and empowered people all her life. By volunteering with Sound Memories, now she will still be an empowering enabler. 

It is so important that as we grow older, we are still able to make the contributions to our world that have made us who we are.

Thank you so much for coming on board Ceredwen. I am overjoyed.

Between Christmas and New Year, we will meet up and record an afternoon tea life story of Ceredwen's childhood, growing up in Wales.

This will be uploaded onto our new Sound Memories digital Library as a memory aid for those living with dementia, at the launch in the Spring.

And all of this is possible due to the wonderful support that people are giving to Sound Memories by making kind donations through ...


https://www.gofundme.com/sound-memories

Thank you

Cheryl Beer

To begin at the beginning ...





Hello folks. 

My name is Cheryl Beer. My friend with me in the photograph is Louise Davies. You'll find out about our friendship as you read on.

I am a musician, a qualified Sound therapist and also I am a practice based researcher. I think these 3 things sit together rather well and as I come to blog about the Sound Memories journey, you'll see clearly how and why they fit together.


I am also a songwriter, a poet and author of stories with over 20 years experience of Community Arts. I like making things from seemingly nothing and this passion for creativity runs through my work at all levels.



Sound Memories Presentation at Llanstephan History Society


I didn't actively choose to work in the field of dementia.  It was  the choice of Louise Davies, a rather canny, now 94 year old woman, living in a Dementia friendly home with Gwalia Housing.

You see, this is the way of the world. You are called ... 

And I had a call from Rachel Murphy from Artscare Gofal Celf. I love Rachel. She is so warm and genuine and really cares about her work and the community. She asked me to help out for 8 weeks at a dementia friendly home in a Story session funded by The Baring Foundation, bringing music to the work of a storyteller.

I'll be honest, to my mind, it didn't really work. Yes, the people sat in the chairs in the circle were entertained, they were engaged sometimes, but the level of support needed to totally respond to individual need, was almost impossible. We re-structured so that everyone had some one- to- one time during the session because this is what created magic in terms of igniting the sparkle in the eye of the people we were working with.

I believe it is because we were honest enough to sit down and discuss why things were difficult, that I was able to move on and devise a new way of applying music and story, even though I had no idea at this point that it would be my destiny.

It was the end of the 7th morning. I was with Louie. As she was being pushed from the room at the end of the session, she turned to me and she said,

'Cheryl, will you save my story for me?'



I knew the funding would be ended the following week. But in spending even this small amount of quality time listening to the stories of Louie, writing poems with her about her life, I knew that she had been so community focussed. She had done so many things for the people in her village, behind the scenes, no song and dance about it, perhaps no one even knowing. 

For instance, she had planted snowdrops every year in the Sticks woods and propagated them so that when you go into the woods at a certain time of year, there is a carpet of snow drops. She did this because when she was a child, the children would knock and ask if they could pick snowdrops from her farm. She wanted children to walk through snowdrops so ... she planted them when no-one was looking. How very lovely.

 'Yes, off course I will' 

I instantly replied because it is a very great honour indeed when someone of 92 (as she was then) asks you to preserve their life history, and it is this that began my first considered and intense collaboration with an individual who is living with dementia. 

It is this request from Louie that enlightened me to the joy of being in the now with people who are living with dementia.

Louie as a child

The outcomes from our work together were so far reaching. With her stories and my creative skills, with her commitment to sharing and my ability to connect with those people she saw fit, the book and CD that we published together through my community publishing company, Parlor Press, became part of the People's Collection Wales, was distributed to the talking library for Wales, hard copies went onto all Carmarthenshire libraries, and the mobile library service, it was then accepted by the RNIB in London and held in their national resource.

We devised a story trail of Louie's life in her village. her son and daughter in law were back stage crew to my Story Trail with local children who then visited Louie and her friends for a tea party and carried on in school, creating their own story books from the life memories of their loved ones.




Louie sent me her memories as if they were postcards from wonderful places that had stayed with her and every time she told me the story, it was slightly different. From this I could collage together a whole picture. I was able to do this by being completely present with Louie and responding artistically to her brief. Each deeply considered aspect being part of her memory.




For instance, the front cover of the book is taken from the design of her 21st Birthday card. A year she describes as becoming an adult. So apt given that the book is designed for children and adults, to adapt this design. The back cover is a montage of the postcards she has kept all her life that were her Grandfather's and then her father's, and now our Postcards's from Louie.




We worked together for about 8 months. There was no funding. Gwalia Resident fund paid for the books and CD's. I managed to get them for cost from Penarth Printers who so kindly helped and the design graphics were  beautiful because my lovely friend Melanie Phillips gave her time to sit with me and make mine and Louie's dreams a graphic reality. 

Jeff Beer kindly engineered the CD with me and Gwalia paid for the tea party for the children and residents. 

The school paid for the story bus. Support staff were paid by Gwalia or the School. 

In fact, the only people not paid, were me and Louie! But Louie had her story saved and I had begun what has been and become a very moving journey.

Dorothy Morris of Greenspace gallery made Louie's work the central piece for her 'My Favourite Things Exhibition' and Uncle Albert's Drawers donated the cabinets for our displays.




But these things do not magically happen my friends. It is me that connects with all these people, organisations and brings them together in making it so. 

I suppose to some extent, people are also my medium as an artist and bringing them together in beautiful bouquets is one of my strengths. It gives me the depeest joy to see everything coming together and when Louie gave me one of her welsh blanket cushions to thank me, well, let's just say I needed tissues!




The Davies family very kindly allowed me to use the work for my MA Drama at The Atrium, Cardiff. I had a Distinction and received a prize from the University of South Wales for Outstanding contribution to Drama.

I was then approached by Nick Andrews from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation based at Swansea University and it was his championing of my work, his belief and trust, his faith in my model that enabled me to take it to the next level.


In my next blog I will talk about my JRF funded work with 87 year old Georgie Muscles, Welsh Strong Man, when he was attending Gwalia Plas Y Mor Day Centre.