Stories and special moments belonging to people living with dementia have been recorded through pictures, words and film as part of a project which will be shown on screen next month.

Rosie Anderson, from Stocksfield, had the idea for the Pieces of my Jigsaw project through her work as a Singing for the Brain facilitator – a project which uses singing to bring together people with dementia – and experience with her father who has dementia.

“I noticed when dad was trying to tell us things he would lose track of what he was saying,” she said. “I thought if he had clues he could look for, something that could prompt him, that might help.”

The project saw Rosie and an illustrator talk with participants for around an hour, to get to know them and find out some of their favourite stories.

Rosie then wrote each participant a song, using their own words as much as possible, which they were given on a CD, while artist book-maker Mo Healey created personalised books for them to take away featuring illustrations by Bethan Laker and Katie Chappell.

Rosie’s dad David Johnson, a former police superintendent from Wylam, also took part in the project after he took the place of another participant who had dropped out at the last minute.

Rosie said: “The whole experience has just been great. When I look back, we filmed with each person for about an hour, and we got to really know the people and their stories, and they seemed to really enjoy it. When they were presented with their books and song, the family members seemed to love it.”

As part of the project, Chris Anderson, Rosie’s husband and film-maker, who runs film production company Crackin Toast, received funding from Arts Council England to create a short film of the project.

He filmed the interviews with those who took part and he and Rosie compiled a short film showing its progress, from the initial idea to the presentation of the books and songs.

“We wanted to document it so we could show it to the world,” he said.

Rosie added: “We hope people will take something away from it too. Maybe they can take some ideas about how they could do something similar with their family members.”

The film will be shown at the Forum Cinema in Hexham on February 4 at 6.30pm, with other showings taking place on January 29 at the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth and on February 25 at Cobalt Studios, Newcastle.

Last week, Rosie and Chris put up photographs from the project in the Forum Cinema cafe bar, and following the film, a display of the books and songs will be at the cloister porch at the Abbey.

Next month, they will begin a new reminiscent project based in the Tyne Valley, and are encouraging people with dementia and their families to get involved.

Anyone interested can get in touch on