The Archie Project is an exciting intergenerational dementia awareness project that links local primary schools, care homes, sheltered housing schemes, businesses, services and community members to ultimately dispel the fear and stigma often associated with dementia and create more dementia friendly communities.
A brightly coloured knitted scarecrow adopted as a mascot for Reminiscence Learning – many people with dementia will use mascots or dolls as a source of comfort and attachment. We want to achieve a person - centred approach to care and ultimately a state of well-being for the person with dementia.
Archie is dressed in red and yellow
These are the last colours to go in the ageing eye and are easily recognisable, perceived as a contrast with lighter colours. These colours are therefore used in decor around the home to identify bedroom and bathroom doors, toilet seats, doorhandles, grab rails etc.
Archie was first introduced to the health care industry in 2001 when he was included as part of a European research project called “Remembering Yesterday Caring Today”, where people with dementia and their carers joined together in reminiscence sessions, sharing memories and stories together. Archie was named by a gentleman called Bill. Every session Bill would greet Mr scarecrow, as he was previously known, saying “Good morning Archie”, before he settled down within the group. He was familiar with the mascot and there was a sense of continuity as he was always at each session. This in turn gave Bill a feeling of safety and security feeling confident that he was in the right place. His long-term memory prompted him to remember that he had been in a state of well-being when he last attended the group and so was more content.
In 2011 Reminiscence Learning were invited to be Sainsbury’s charity of the year in Taunton. As part of their partnership with the store we decided to teach staff about dementia. We were trying to find an easy and simple way to explain the signs and symptoms and how we can all help people within our community and so we wrote a story about Archie.
Archie has lots of friends who have dementia;
• Jack with Vascular dementia,
• Flo with Lewy body dementia,
• Daisy with Fronto Temporal dementia,
• Bob Barley who works with people with learning disabilities,
• Brian who has Korsakoff’s syndrome
• Barnaby the dog whose quest is to make a dementia friendly community.
Or read about Archies adventures and the pickles he got into.
Quote from our Patron, Angela Rippon CBE
"He continues to be popular with children and adults alike and has made a huge difference as to how we all perceive dementia."
Watch our Patron, Angela Rippon CBE introduce Archie's Adventures...
Archie goes into primary schools
The first Archie project was established in 2012. It linked primary schools and care homes together with the ultimate aim of reducing the fear and stigma often associated with dementia.
550 children between the ages of 5 and 13 took part in the initial project. They all received an Archie story book, workbook, banner pens, balloons, sports bags and stickers.
Once they had learned about dementia, they started to visit their local care home, engaging with older people who had memory loss or dementia and sharing activities together on a regular basis. Exeter university researched the project and it was found that children changed their stereotypical views of the older person after they had completed the Archie project and that this project would be most suited to children between 7-9 years old.
The Archie project has now reached over 45 schools and is honoured to have Angela Rippon CBE as its Patron. He covers many parts of the UK and beyond.
Archie was even introduced to Australia in 2013.