29th March 2023


A new online service that uses archive films and newsreels to trigger memories and encourage friendships through shared reminiscence.

As we move into another lockdown in a year which has seen some of the most vulnerable in society isolated more than usual, Screenocean have teamed up with Living Memories to create a digital memory aid for dementia patients to help trigger reminiscences and stimulate conversations.

The Living Memories Online portal offers access to a huge range of information and social history programmes and newsreels from the late 1930s to the 1970s, which can be streamed, with online reminiscence resources being added soon to help trigger conversations.  It aims to bring the past to life for older people, the people who care for them and anyone interested in UK social and industrial history, including schools.

Living Memories C.I.C. is a not-for-profit social enterprise, developed by Brian and his wife, Leonore, after long practical research with older people, including those with dementia. It publishes DVDs and reminiscence resources and for some time has been running Tea and Memory groups where archive programmes and newsreels are shown to community groups.

Screenocean is a film and video archive that provides unparalleled access to unique and quality content from around the world, captured from 1896 to the present day. The collections cover rare and inspiring footage including momentous historic newsreels, entertainment programs, and over 20 million iconic images. Spanning 3 centuries, Screenocean help bring stories and projects to life. Screenocean’s footage library includes clips from Reuters News Archive, Channel 4, Channel 5, Warner Bros Television Productions UK, Clips & Footage and Cover Images.

The Abbeyfield Society, a charity which operates over 450 retirement houses across the UK, has already signed up to use Living Memories Online. It is also partnering with Living Memories CIC to create virtual and live Tea & Memories reminiscence groups around the UK in the communities in which Abbeyfield operates. Other similar relations will be developed.

Living Memories Online hosts videos from a number of sources including from Screenocean which, along with its partner Reuters, have allowed pro-bono access to an amazing collection of historic newsreels from Visnews, British Paramount, Gaumont British and Universal. Clips & Footage has made its vast collection of classic Movie Trailers available for streaming alongside its social history and home movie collections.

Subscribers to the portal also get access to film summaries, questions, plus social and historical information to prompt reminiscence and discussions. The footage can be accessed on a PC, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone and can then be cast to smart TVs for group viewing. The Living Memories portal can be searched by decade, topic and subject and users can make a collection of their own favourites, which can be shared with other users of the portal.

Brian Norris, founder of Living Memories CIC, says: “Archive films can prompt older people to share memories and life experiences. Long-term memory is usually one of their strengths, so reminiscence encourages them to communicate and feel more confident about themselves. Living Memories Online will make reminiscence activity much more widely and easily available.

This is important in combatting isolation, especially now that Covid-19 means that many elderly people are unable to access community groups.”

Brian says: "At the group sessions we have found that many older people (including those living with dementia) who had previously been reluctant to talk, started to reminisce about their lives and shared experiences and to make new friends and get to know their neighbours.”

The home page offers newsreels and clips free for trial viewing, plus the ability to sign up for the collection at a monthly launch offer subscription of £4.00 per month for individuals, care homes and other organisations. Annual subscriptions, which include reminiscence resources, will also be available.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Norris, Living Memories C.I.C. email: tel: +44 (0)1297552358

Duncan Roxburgh, Screenocean email: tel: 020 7306 6928

Originally published: 08/01/2021