Welsh actor uses experiences of working in dementia care home for new film role
Popular Welsh actor and singer Emyr Gibson has used his experiences of working at a dementia care home for his latest starring role.
The former TV soap star, who became well-known for playing Meical in S4C Welsh language series Rownd a Rownd, became the creative practitioner at Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care home in Caernarfon in 2022.
For his new role, Gibson plays the son of a man living with dementia. ‘House of Memories’ has been made conjunction with the National Museums Liverpool, who teamed up with the Welsh Government to launch House of Memories Cymru.
The project is an expansion of the Merseyside organisation’s award-winning dementia awareness programme which offers training, access to resources, and museum-based activities to enable carers to provide person-centred care for people living with dementia.
The actor said: “The chance to appear in this film came out of the blue. My agent asked me to send a self-tape audition to the producers of the film which I did, and I mentioned I had worked with dementia sufferers and their families. They called me and I spoke more about my experiences and I got the part.”
Filming took place at the St. Fagans National Museum of History, as well as in Liverpool.
Emyr Gibson said: “The film is set around the father’s birthday who is taken out for the day to revive old memories. It also features a lady called Sian who enjoys visiting museums. We filmed the scenes in both Welsh and English.”
Sandra Evans, the manager of Bryn Seiont Newydd care home, said: “I am sure that Emyr’s role here will have brought real depth and understanding to his character in the film.
“New resources like this will I am sure be invaluable and I’m delighted that one of the many stars among our team has played a part in making this ground-breaking film.
“Emyr is multi-talented and a great asset in brightening the lives our residents at Bryn Seiont Newydd, as well as being kind, caring and compassionate.”
The short film was first shown at the launch of the new House of Memories Cymru app at the Senedd in Cardiff on October 2nd.
Funded by the Welsh Government, House of Memories Cymru will deliver a dual-language dementia awareness programme, including a range of training, app packages, and activities to support care givers.
The app features memories of Wales, Welsh people and their communities and aims to connect, engage and improve the lives of Welsh people living with dementia and their loved ones across Wales.
Dawn Bowden, the Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support House of Memories Cymru which celebrates Welsh culture and invaluable role Welsh museums play in supporting older people and those living with dementia.”
The director of National Museums Liverpool, Carol Rogers, said: “We are thrilled to launch House of Memories Cymru and add a bespoke Welsh package to our international House of Memories programme.
“Wales has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that has had a huge influence on Liverpool, and it is a privilege to work in partnership with museum colleagues across Wales, to support the Welsh dementia community.
“We hope the programme will not only help improve the lives of people living with dementia, but also be the catalyst for meaningful connections between them and their families or carers.”
For more information about House of Memories Cymru click here.
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