OSWESTRY Library is to launch a new and wide-ranging collection of loanable objects for people living with memory loss.

The initiative has been largely funded by Oswestry Town Council, with an additional donation from Coverage Care’s New Fairholme, and is part of Highlighting Dementia Action Week from Monday-Sunday, May 17-23.

The Oswestry Memory Loss Collection will be available following a launch ceremony at the library on Monday, May 17 at 11am, when town mayor Councillor Duncan Kerr will be in attendance.

Siobhan Shaw, Oswestry Library branch manager, said the project is vital for helping people living with dementia.

She said: “We are delighted to launch this large collection of borrowable objects for people living with dementia and their supporters.

"Extending our existing resources, the new collection includes eight new Shared Memory bags featuring a 1950s/1960s approach to the themes of working life, music, leisure, childhood and Christmas.

"An Oswestry-themed memory bag will follow soon in collaboration with Oswestry Town Museum.

“Additionally, a wide range of loanable items is now available, including large-piece jigsaws, games, fidget widgets, therapeutic sounds CDs, conversation starters, song books and a range of other helpful books.

"All items are free to borrow or reserve by anyone with a Shropshire Libraries card.”

The new collection builds on library services already available to Shropshire residents living with memory loss.

These include the Reading Well Dementia collection of professionally endorsed self-help books available in many branches and thirty themed Shared Memory Bags filled with conversation starters and sensory objects to prompt enjoyable, therapeutic stimulation.

All Shropshire Libraries staff are trained Dementia Friends and the service is a member of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Dementia Action Alliance.

Mirka Duxberry, Shropshire Council’s library development manager, added: “We are very excited to launch this new library collection, knowing that it will enhance services for people with memory loss in our community.

"Thanks to grants from Oswestry Town Council and Coverage Care, the library service can offer a timely and helpful response to this concern.”

Imelda Briones, manager of New Fairholme, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be supporting this fantastic project, which will further support people in our community who are living with memory loss.

"These themed reminiscence bags can provide extremely valuable prompts for people who have dementia, helping to stimulate happy memories and trigger enjoyable conversations.

"We’re certain they will be extremely well used, and we wish the library every success with this latest project.”

For further information about the Oswestry Memory Loss Collection, phone 01743 250351 or email heather.rodenhurst@shropshire.gov.uk