Tony works as an Artist and Workshop Leader in many Care Home settings across the UK, as well as in Torbay. He uses reminiscence work about performance to stimulate memories by using imagery, recordings and performance. In larger projects, this method has led to the creation of recorded reminiscences by the participants, which was later accessed by Schools or other Care Homes.
Tony has also worked with Hugh Nankivell on the Geoquest old people’s workshops and also on older people’s mental health project for the NHS in Torbay. He also worked with the British Legion in the Bay as part of the ‘Chin Up’ project. With working on his specialisation, Tony has designed his project with the use of gramophone to stimulate discussion or reminiscence about going out dancing or even some movement to the tunes played. The idea is to listen to the music, look at the associated imagery, make the machine work and discuss the outcomes.
Tony has had tons of experience working with older people with many takeaway stories to picture his experience. On one occasion, when playing a recording of an opera, a man who had remained silent for some time suddenly burst out singing. It turned out that he had been a fine singer of light opera in Russia when he was a boy.
Sometimes, Tony’s work has also led to uncover curious and amazing stories. For instance, there was a lady who revealed that when young, she had been in variety and toured with a full grown tiger which she kept in the yard of their terraced house in Huddersfield. This was heard by others in the group, who all remembered it, as they were all of the same age group and grew up in the same part of the town.
Tony believes that such events become the basis for further discussions and memory jogging which provide chances to engage with others, articulate stories and build confidence.