The Growth of our Community Books on Zoom – 2021
Posted on 06 Apr 2021
There have been some interesting developments here at Book of You during the pandemic. One of these is the growth in popularity of our Community Books. We are currently in the middle of the second of three books being created with Ruthin Town Council in a project called ‘Stori Rhuthun’ that has been supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. The first book contained memories of Borthyn Primary School and the current one is all about the variety of shops Ruthin has had over the decades. We are due to start a similar project in Rhyl very soon, funded by DVSC’s Dementia Aware Grant Fund, and a little later on in the year, we are looking at starting Community Books in three towns in Powys.
When we created our very first Community Books back in 2019 and early 2020 in Rhos on Sea and Llanrwst, Associate Dilwyn Jones managed the groups on a weekly basis in church and community halls. People came along to share memories and enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits. They were well attended and enjoyed by all, and the completed books (which can now be seen on our website) are a fascinating insight into people’s memories of their towns. We have always stressed that these are not your usual ‘town history books’ but instead, as with our usual life story model, are a collection of shared memories. Two people can have different memories of a place or event, but that doesn’t matter – both are valid. As with the personal books, people share photographs, but we also encourage spoken word that can be recorded and uploaded into the book. Music, and film can also add richness to the books.
When the pandemic hit and no face to face work could take place, our staff and volunteers were trained to continue their work with Book of You via Zoom and it has been a great success. We have seen a large number of attendees in the current Stori Rhuthun group – with the added bonus of people being able to attend virtually who have moved away from the area, thereby meeting up with old friends again after many years. The ease with which Zoom lends itself to this type of activity means that Dilwyn runs 2 virtual groups a week; one during the daytime and one in the evening for those who work or have other commitments during working hours. All our groups are dementia inclusive and we actively encourage those who are living with dementia, or who care for someone with dementia, to come along and enjoy the fun.
If you would be interested in attending the Ruthin, Rhyl or Powys groups, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you would like to find out how to set up a Book of You Community Book in your town, again get in touch and we can help you get started.