Co-op Funeralcare introduces Memory Boxes

03 November 2017

  • One in six over the age of 80 in the UK live with dementia
  • In Scotland, there are more than 90,000 people with dementia

Co-op Funeralcare Dunfermline has launched ‘Memory Boxes’, a new initiative aimed to trigger long-term memory recognition for those with dementia.

The Memory Boxes, which are taken to care homes and day centres in Dunfermline by Co-op colleagues, are filled with memorabilia donated by the local community. The Memory Boxes are used to encourage people with dementia to engage with the memorabilia, prompting conversations about the past.

The first Memory Box was filled with memorabilia linked to Dunfermline Athletic F.C and due to popular demand, a second Memory Box was created, with contents linked to the social heritage of Dunfermline.

The new concept was initially thought of by Co-op Funeral Director, Kenny Mclachlan, when he became mindful that many people within the community were being affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s causing them to feel lonely.

In the UK, one in every six people over the age of 80 have dementia, over 90,000 of those are living in Scotland with a further 3,000 Scots under the age of 65 having some form of dementia*.

The Memory Boxes help to trigger long term memories which prompt people to tell stories about their lives and to reminisce on the past; such activities may help to improve someone’s mood, wellbeing and mental abilities***.

Kenny McLachlan, Co-op Funeral Director, said:

‘’When speaking to members of the local community, I came to realise that dementia was a real concern.

‘‘The Memory Box idea came to me following a meeting with the Dunfermline Athletic Heritage Trust and the University Head of Museum Services who highlighted a museum should be an interactive place; you could say it was a bit of a eureka moment!

‘’The Memory Boxes give us an opportunity to engage with people that wouldn’t usually communicate easily with others. Not only do the Memory Boxes to help raise awareness of dementia, they also help to tackle loneliness within the community.’’

Ashlene Robertson, Regional Manager for Co-op Funeralcare, commented:

‘‘At Co-op Funeralcare, we try to support our colleagues and the local community in any way we can. When we heard about Kenny’s great idea we were keen to support him in introducing his Memory Boxes to the local community.’’


Notes to Editor

Images available upon request

*Statistics sourced from Alzheimer’s Society

** Statistics sourced from Alzheimer’s Scotland

***Information sourced from Alzheimer’s Society

Media Contacts

Claire Newmarch
Mobile: 07808609944

Lauren Pogson
Mobile: 07702505626

About The Co-op:

The Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, with interests across food, funerals, insurance, electrical and legal services, has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, The Co-op operates a total of 3,750 outlets, with more than 70,000 colleagues and an annual turnover of approximately £10 billion.

Home to the UK’s leading funeral provider, Co-op Funeralcare conducts almost 100,000 funerals annually across over 1,000 funeral homes. Combined with its leading legal services business, the Co-op is also a national provider of later life products and services ranging from funeral plans, through to wills and probate.