ENLIVEN – University of Exeter University of Exeter

A University Project for Dementia in the UK

A University Project for Dementia in the UK

Kew Gardens, London

A site of international acclaim, Kew Gardens offers a visitor experience that celebrates horticulture and botanical science, heritage and plants, welcoming nearly two million visitors in 2021 – England’s most visited ‘paid for’ attraction. Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site extending over 330 acres with renowned and iconic features, including the Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse and a range of both classic and pioneering gardens and landscapes. The ENLIVEN project at Kew sat within the site’s wider agenda of addressing Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity to reach out to more ethnically diverse communities within London.

Working with the Community Access and Learning Team, the aim of the project was to use reminiscence practice as a tool to engage people with dementia from marginalised ethnic backgrounds with plants and nature, with a focus on the international collections to connect participants with experiences from their past.

Underpinning this project was a series of consultations and art workshops with an African-Caribbean community group and volunteers. The project provided content for reminiscence therapy and activities, and identified appropriate training for staff and volunteers, with the anticipation that reminiscence practice may become an ongoing element of the learning initiatives after the life of the project.

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