Orchard Cottage is our dedicated cottage used by the Health and Wellbeing Team We have lots of different sessions for older people and people living with dementia The men’s group runs once a week It has been running for around 5 years now It is funded through Durham County Council as one of the CREE projects The idea behind the group was it was men with long term health conditions which was affecting their mental health It was to get people back together, with other men, and have a bit of bait room banter take part in lots of nice new activities but also revisit some of the skills that they might have forgotten about We’ve been investigating the museum, so we’ve been looking at the collections we’ve been taking photographs of the transport, the buildings and the objects we’ve been using traditional woodcarving skills and printmaking skills in the groups so the participants have been choosing an image we transfer it on to the wood, carve it out and print it on to the bags So the project was started by our Health and Wellbeing Team and a lovely lady called Jill and I got wind of the project and thought it’s absolutely fantastic and we want to support it and make sure that the groups at the museum are supported by us and when we saw the bags I just thought we need to sell these bags – they are amazing and I’m sure you’ll all agree when you see them the effort that’s gone in to them the intricate details is just absolutely unbelievable What do I think of it? Fantastic! It’s good! The atmosphere, the people, meeting people and everything in general – absolutely beautiful! I think the atmosphere’s nice, it’s calming and I get a lot of support off the Mind group and the lads that work at Rowley station. Oh I love it, I love it! I’m away from the wife for 4 hours (chuckle) We’re really excited about the bags being sold in the Gift Shop All the profits from the bags will come back to the group again The men themselves they are so proud, I’m really proud of them for what they’ve done and achieved I think it’s a way to show the public as well that people who are perhaps living with dementia or other long term conditions can still achieve things and achieve things that are spectacular so yeah, we’re really excited!