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Sunrise collaborates with Cavendish School

A group of year 10 students from Cavendish School visited residents in the Memory Care Neighbourhood at Sunrise of Eastbourne on 25 June to present them with beautiful works of textile art based on the lives of residents.

The project was an ongoing collaboration between the year 10 textile students from the school – they would come to visit residents and learn more about each other. The partnership came about after Sunrise of Eastbourne general manager, Fiona White, visited the school to give a talk on dementia.

Forming part their GCSE textiles studies, the students first met residents at Sunrise of Eastbourne in Autumn 2017, and they were assigned a resident to team up with. They sat together and reminisced about their lives and the students listened.

Nancy Walford, memory care co-ordinator at Sunrise of Eastbourne, says: “It was wonderful to see the two generations join together. The residents enjoyed speaking about their lives and loves and the students from Cavendish were so warm and engaged.”

The students then went away to produce personalised 'stitch stories' - pieces of textile wall art inspired by the work of Artist Cas Holmes.

Nancy says: “The residents were thrilled to see the finished works of art. Beautiful embroidered pieces, adorned with superimposed fabric photographs from the residents’ pasts, old wedding photos, swatches of fabric and buttons, all depicting things that are dear to them.

"It was very moving to see the joy of seeing their lives depicted through art by a younger generation. One beautiful piece adorned with the word 'fearless'; a fitting tribute to a wonderful lady who lives a full and enriched life with purpose and joy despite living with dementia. That one word captured her strength and determination so beautifully.”

“We cannot thank the students of Cavendish School enough for opening their hearts and minds to our residents, for spending time getting to know them and for producing such beautiful works of art that give the residents a sense of belonging and identity.

“The art work will be displayed on the walls at Sunrise of Eastbourne for everyone to enjoy every day. We do hope this will be an ongoing collaboration with Cavendish School and wish the students every success in their GCSEs.”

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