Unforgettable Experiences was launched in 2020 to provide creative, interactive and practical support to help older people with dementia, those with neurological conditions and their carers to access arts, culture and heritage based activities as an alternative model of care.
Formally known as Learning, Cognition and Wellbeing CIC, the social enterprise was originally established in 2017 by Richard McMann to support those on a medical journey to learn how to self-manage their conditions and help them with their rehabilitation.
After experiencing a traumatic brain injury in 2013, the former Head of History Teacher, who was nominated for national Pearson Thank A Teacher card, was passionate about developing a service to support other people with a neurological journey through the arts. Richard, who was air ambulanced to critical care at Kings Hospital in London, was in a coma for a month, spent three months in a high dependency bay before becoming an NHS patient for a further 34 months. As an NHS patient, he received support from Occupational Therapy, Neuro Physio to learn how to speak and walk again before undertaking Vocational Rehab with Momentum and Workers Education Programme. Richard has experienced the challenges and support options that are currently available and uses his experiences in his role as the North East Champion for the LENS steering group (Lived Experience Network) https://www.culturehealthandwellbeing.org.uk/get-involved/lens working with the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance which works with the All Parliamentary Group, Creative Health, The Arts for health and wellbeing.
Victoria Burnip, who is passionate about supporting older people and leading not-for-profit organisations in the North East of England, was introduced to Learning, Cognition and Wellbeing CIC in 2019 and was appointed as CEO in January 2020 to lead and develop the social enterprise. Since then we have developed and launched our programme of creative, interactive and practical sessions to support older people with dementia, those with a neurological condition and their carers.