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The Oyster Project

The Oyster Project was founded in 2004 by John Russell and became a registered charity in 2009 receiving the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2014 ​ The Oyster Project supports weekly drama groups, an art group, a well-being group, Creative Community (a Dementia friendly creative space) and an annual family camp. We also work with the Westgate Trust who support groups working with homeless people and those with addiction plus the work of Radio Lewes which was founded by Oyster members.

29 January 2019
South East
Arts, Charity, Community organisations, Health, Recreation, Voluntary
Local Alliances:
Lewes and District 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?

We are starting a weekly group called Creative Community, which will be a dementia-friendly space open to anyone, but especially aimed at people with dementia and their carers or friends. The idea is that there will be art activities, a large collection of hand and rod puppets, plus books and magazines, maybe sometimes some singing or musical instruments and tea, coffee and biscuits available; We hope that carers might have a chance to relax for a while and have a little space to themselves in our large room, or meet new people, whilst their friend or relative living with dementia is occupied with expressing themselves creatively, or they might like to sit and be creative together. I already have training in Understanding Dementia and lots of experience of working in the arts and care with people with dementia; soon I will train to be a Dementia Champion and so I hope to offer free talks for the public on understanding Dementia, these may sometimes be held at our base in Lewes. 

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

At the moment it will be only me running this group and so that is why I would like carers to stay. In the future I would like to get funding to be able to involve other artists,puppeteers and musicians.

2. Actions

  • Creative Expression for People Living with Dementia

    We will provide a nurturing and respectful space in which people living with Dementia can express themselves creatively in a wide variety of ways, through art, puppetry, story telling, or music. 

    Activities such as painting, clay and colouring will be set out and a variety of large rod and hand puppets will be available for people to interact with and use as a way of communicating and have fun. Books and magazines will be there and sometimes there may be singing and musical instruments. 

    I believe that creative expression is particularly important for people with Dementia and would like to give them the opportunity for this.

    The venue is wheelchair accessible and has a disabled toilet.

    Recommended donation £3/£5.

    Being implemented
  • Support for Carers

    In our Creative Community space we hope that carers will have an opportunity to relax and have some space to themselves in our large room, whilst their friend or relative is able to be creative. They will have the chance to meet new friends and other carers, or to share the experience of being creative with their loved one.

    Being implemented
  • Dementia Friends Talk

    Next week I will be training to be a Dementia Champion and then would like to give talks in the local community to help people to understand Dementia and so that they can become a Dementia Friend.

  • Attend a Dementia Champions Training Day

    After attending the training I will plan talks to give in my local area.