"Beside the Sea sensory story kit is perfect! It allows those with varying limitations to engage irrespective of their personal barriers.We have many non-verbal residents and because the activity doesn't require them to communicate through verbal language they were engaged throughout."
Care home activities co-ordinator, Weston-Super-Mare

"We saw a lot of contribution from participants and they didn't need to be encouraged participation on the most part. When one resident was asked to pinpoint a moment or a few moments which they enjoyed, she responded with: 'I loved all of it'."
Care home activities co-ordinator, Dorset

"The songs and sounds are so evocative, they always created a big response. In particular the songs always got a positive reaction from residents."
Care home activities co-ordinator, Weston-Super-Mare

Spring Time (2022)

We worked with Bristol artist Suzy Furse to create Spring Time in 2022. We designed and made a multi-sensory story about a day out in the countryside for people living with dementia and a carer or family member to enjoy together within a care home setting.

Spring Time sensory story kits were first delivered to care homes in Hartcliffe (south Bristol) and Weston-Super Mare in the Spring of 2022.

They included bespoke images by Suzy Furse, immersive soundscapes by Gill Simmons, and sensory items like woodland smell boxes, lambswool and even a dog lead!

The sound design also included covers of "Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles and "Afternoon Tea" by the Kinks.

Spring Time User Guide

If you're a member of staff in a care home which has a SpringTime box on flexible loan, this short users' guide will support you so you feel confident to use the resources in the kit.

Beside the Sea (2020/2021)

We partnered with Dorset-based theatre company Frenetic Fox and Bristol artist Suzy Furse to create Beside the Sea in the autumn of 2020. We designed and made a multi-sensory story about a day out on a British beach for people living with advanced dementia and a carer or family member to enjoy together safely within a care home setting.

Beside the Sea sensory story kits were delivered to 9 care homes in Hartcliffe (south Bristol), Dorset and Weston-Super Mare. They included bespoke images by Suzy Furse, immersive soundscapes and original music by Gill Simmons, and sensory items like deckchair fabric, smell boxes and buckets of pebbles and shells.

Between February-May 2021 we dropped into online memory cafe sessions hosted by Alzheimers' Society UK to create some seaside themed audio-stories with older people in Withywood and Weston.

Participants took inspiration from these pictures to create a brand new audio story, which was written and performed by older people and their carers. One group's audio story imagined an ABBA tribute band performing on the beach, so we made an ABBA cover.

Beside the Sea was funded by by Activate, National Lottery Communities Fund and Groundwork, and was further supported by That Creative Thingy Wotsit, a Weston-based CIC who support creativity in care homes.

Suzy Furse's seaside images, commissioned for Beside the Sea, are available as a set of 6 postcards from our online shop for £5. Profits will support further creative projects in care homes. 

Wonderland (2019)

In 2019 we made Wonderland, a dementia-sensitive theatre show which toured to care homes and day centres in Bristol, Weston Super Mare, Wells and also toured to Newcastle Under Lyme as part of the New Vic Theatre's Live Age Festival.

Learn more about Wonderland here.

Listen to the 2019 cast (Paul Lawless, Arran Glass and Alison Cowling) warming up before a performance in Withywood, singing the title song "Wonderland" (lyrics & music by Gill Simmons).


The Making of Me (2014)

We first began working with older people in 2014 on a project called The Making of Me, in partnership with the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford, Shaw Healthcare and Liz Postlethwaite from Small Things.

We delivered immersive drama workshops for residents in a Portishead care home, taking the ‘Imagination Train’ to different locations each week chosen by the participants including the Ritz, the Beach and the Zoo.