Sway Life Stories is a community art and technology project that aims to support people living with dementia and their families and carers.
Alsager School were invited by Alsager Partnership to create artwork to support the town’s bid to become a dementia friendly town. From these initial meetings it quickly emerged that we wanted to bring students and the community together working as one. It was important that the art project involved and celebrated the community spirit of Alsager in which students from Alsager School were given the opportunity to lead the project working creatively with the local community and developing their 21st century skills.
We wanted to combine aspects of Reminiscence therapy with art and digital Microsoft Sway workshops. Giving people living with dementia and their families the opportunity to share their life stories with students. To then make and create their own mixed media art collages and interactive Microsoft Sway Life Stories using the very artwork and photographs we have been privileged enough to have had shared with us by the couples.
As a school, we are working with Microsoft and we wanted to use the school’s innovative use of technology and the exciting opportunities that Microsoft 365 offers students to develop a project for the community that we hope will positively enrich and support people living with dementia and their families. It has been a wonderful and enriching project for all involved. The students have been fantastic and have made a significant impact to the lives of the couples we have met. Friendships have been made, stories shared, and the community has come together to support people living with dementia as one.
Sway Life Stories was created by Lee Whitmarsh working with Alsager School, the Alsager Partnership and Microsoft. Lee is the Curriculum Leader for the Art, Design and Technology Faculty at Alsager School and a Microsoft Innovate Educator Expert (MIEE).