Living Words is an arts and literature organisation, created in 2007. It started simply in a hospital ward at St Thomas’, London. The intention of communicating in the moment using silence, sounds, the spoken and written word was clear. Since then Living Words have conducted residencies in care and nursing homes, community settings, arts centres, day centres, libraries, theatres and hospitals. What emerged has been honed over the years into their listen-out-loud methodology, a person-centred approach and programme that we want to see taking place in the UK and beyond.
The main part of their work is care home residencies, taking place over 8 – 15 weeks. Writers and artists work co-creatively and one-to-one with people experiencing dementia, isolation and disempowered people. They enable participants’ ‘in-the-moment’ experience to be heard by others. At the end of the projects, participants each have their own book of Living Words that express how they feel about life. They run bespoke staff workshops to support their creative expression and embed use of the Living Words books.
Living Words believe that if a person is believed in, valued and given a non-judgmental space to express themselves, all of us benefit.
The Walker Construction Trust granted Living Words £3,000 to work with individuals living with late stage dementia, to help them to express themselves and communicate.