Collaboration with Central School of Speech & Drama prop making students

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We are very excited to be working in partnership with Central School of Speech and Drama’s BA Prop Making students this summer to bring a very special bespoke Cocktails theme to our July Cocktail parties across London.

From April – June 2019, BA Prop Making students Arianna (Student Head of Department), Kayleigh Wade and Michael Lloyd have been working to produce 6 ‘Pop-up Reveal’ books which will be the primary decor at our July Cocktail parties, with a specific focus on enhancing the experience for residents living with dementia.

Many participants at our Cocktails In Care Homes parties live with dementia, are non-verbal, live with illness, physical impairments and learning disabilities. With this in mind, the project brief required that the theme be inclusive, engage with a wide range of participant needs and accommodate the wide variety of communication methods that take place during the parties. The students considered key elements such as colour, texture, tactility, shape, sensory and participatory elements to inform their designs.

We are aiming to produce a multi-sensory and interactive experience for people. Through our use of existing inspiration from all around London, we hope we can bring people’s past experiences and memories to the surface, which will really add to the social atmosphere of Cocktails in Care Homes.

Ariana, CSSD Student

As the theme box travels round selected parties throughout July, we are inviting guests to:

Bring their stories and experiences of London Marketplaces, with prompts such as “Where do you like to head on a Sunday afternoon?”, “Where do you bring friends visiting London?”, “Where can you find the best gems?”

Explore the tactile and sensory elements of the theme and facilitate resident participants (especially those living with dementia) to do so too. Touch and sensory stimulation can enhance communication for residents living with dementia – our advice is to pick the books up, encourage residents to hold them, and explore their surfaces. Each book is different so they are rotated around the room so all party-goers can experience each one in turn.

The books were loved by volunteers and guests alike. There was plenty to talk about. Best conversation starters yet, I’d say!

Josephine, Volunteer Party Manager at Rose Court in Surrey Quays

Photographs here and in the gallery by Samia Meah