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M&S Company Archive

We are a Community Interest Company run by M&S and based at the University of Leeds. Our aim as a Company Archive is to preserve and care for the heritage of M&S whilst also sharing it with business colleagues, customers, shareholders, students, academics and the general public. We have over 70,000 items in our collection, a permanent and temporary exhibition which are open to the public five days a week and a reading room which allows access to our collection. We run guided tours, talks and a heritage trail and we employ an Education and Outreach Officer to run our public event programme, school workshops and activities for community groups.

20 April 2017
Yorkshire and Humber
Arts, Other, Recreation
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

M&S is committed, as part of their Plan A 2020 manifesto, to supporting charities. M&S are involved in the Dementia Friends campaign run by the Alzheimer’s Society.        

The M&S Company Archive is a dementia friendly organisation and actively welcomes people with dementia and their carers/families to visit the archive and to view our exhibitions or engage in practical workshops or events.

As part of our community focus we offer, to pre-booked groups, reminiscence based workshops with the opportunity to handle objects both at the archive and as outreach sessions in the community, and reminiscence loan boxes. We can also offer tours and talks for pre-booked groups and an interesting and varied public events programme.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We are a small team with staffing, time and budget constraints. We are still building a profile as a visitor attraction amongst our local community.

2. Actions

  • Dementia Awareness Training

    August 2014: Have a least one member of staff complete dementia awareness training and act as the lead in the organisation.   

    Update October 2015: The archive team are now all Dementia Friends, and our Outreach Officer has completed the Dementia Awareness Training with Voluntary Action Leeds.

  • Develop and promote activities for people with dementia and their carers

    August 2014: Work with local Dementia Action Alliance and Leeds Older People's Forum to build on work already done to develop and promote new activities for people living with dementia and their carers to participate.

    Update October 2015: We’ve developed a free programme for people with dementia, including outreach activities, reminiscence resources and archive visits. In the last three months we’ve engaged with nearly 500 people through our reminiscence programme. We actively seek feedback and listen, and act on, any recommendations for improvements.

  • Build our network and increase engagement

    October 2015: Build our network to grow our existing reminiscence programme, engage with a wider audience and develop new activities for people with dementia.  

    Being implemented
  • The M&S Memory Cafe

    We've expanded our reminiscence resources and are now running a monthly memory cafe where attendees can learn new skills, be creative and share knowledge.