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Archive films reduce the isolation of older people

by Brian Norris in Colyton, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th May 2020 we successfully raised £2,000 with 18 supporters in 86 days

To create an interactive online delivery platform offering many hundreds of archive films (1940s-70)s for reminiscence with older people.

by Brian Norris in Colyton, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The extra money will help us to:

+ Restore and digitise more 35mm and 16mm archive film prints. 

+ Create and publish more topic based Living Memories DVDs, each with a 40 page Reminiscence Guide, to be used by and with people who don't have access to the Internet.

+ Involve more volunteers to support our preparation of the online facilities that we can offer to users of our streaming service.

+Expand the range of reminiscence resources that we can offer on our streaming service which will be used by carers and others who will use our streaming service to provide reminiscence sessions one-to-one or for groups in care homes and other people living remotely who would normally sit down together at Memory Cafe or other community activity.

There are over 10 million people in the UK aged 65+, including around 850,000 living with dementia. Around  4 million are living alone and many rarely have a meaningful conversation with anyone.

After several years practical research we realised that our unique archive film collection from the 1940s-70s could greatly help to bring older people together around the UK to share memories and make new friendships.

In Devon local communities are now setting up our Tea & Memories groups which meet regularly to watch our films and then reminiscence about the old days over tea and biscuits. In these groups local older people enjoy sharing life stories and neighbours finally get to know each other!

The Abbeyfield Charity  is so impressed with the success of our Tea and Memories that it is partnering with us to set up more Tea and Memories groups in Devon and during 2020 and beyond.

We are currently seeking funding to enable us to restore more of the 35mm archive film prints from the 1950s and 60s in our collection and then transfer them to digital media, so that we can use them in DVDs and for our new Living Memories online streaming platform.

It costs us around £350-£400 for a specialist company to carry out that transfer process for each 70-80 year old archive film and make it look like a new production. It can then be enjoyed and help to stimulate more conversation.

We also require funding to help us complete preparation of our Living Memories Online streaming service, so that our films can be used online. Alongside our streaming service we plan to set up in Devon a pilot group of Memory Buddies. These will be people who would like to reminisce with others over the phone about topics which they have seen while watching archive films on our streaming service.

Please donate to our project and help bring more memories to life for older people. Thank you!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Pledge Reward

In appreciation of your pledge we shall be pleased to send you one of our topic based 40 page Reminiscence Guides from which you will learn more about life in the UK in the 1940s-70s. You can also use the questions in the Guide with older friends, family and neighbours to get them chatting about how life has changed since the mid 20th century.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Your reward is one of our award winning topic based Living Memories DVDs with 40 page Reminiscence Guide about life in the 1940s-70s. You can perhaps share with this an older family member and learn more about their early life as they reminisce. Alternatively you could perhaps donate your reward to a local Memory Cafe, residential home, your local library or a community group for older people.

£20 or more

£20 Reward

Please pledge £20 and we shall give a 6 month subscription to our basic subscription for Living Memories Online when it is launched to one family member, friend or organisation whom you designate. Send us the person's contact details (with their approval) to after making your pledge.

£40 or more

£40 Reward

As a thank you for your pledge we shall send you two different archive film based Living Memories DVDs and Reminiscence Guides about living and working in the UK in the 1940s-70s.

£60 or more

£60 Reward

As a thank you for your pledge we shall send you three different Living Memories archive film based DVDs, each with a related Reminiscence Guide.

£75 or more

0 of 10 claimed

£75 Reward

To thank you for pledging £75 pounds we are offering you a free 12 month Founders subscription to our unique Living Memories Online streaming service which will offer hundreds of archive films and newsreels, together with reminiscence resources. We shall start trialling this service with a number of Abbeyfield care homes in April and hope to launch the service in June 2020, when your subscription will start.

£500 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Dedicate an archive film to a loved one

Would you like to have a lasting memory of a loved one and help us to pay to digitise an archive film? If you pledge £500 for our project after the film from our archive collection has been digitised we will, after contacting you, edit into the opening credits of the film a dedication, with wording agreed with you, in memory of the person or organisation you have chosen.

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