Losing her grandfather to dementia prompted Ellie’s interest in the power of creative communication to build connection and community around others living with the illness. The Photobook Project supports people with dementia to take control of their narrative, share tender, fleeting moments with loved ones, and to build wider power as a result.
The project invites people living with dementia and intergenerational groups to document their own or shared experiences through the use of a single-use camera. The individuals select themes under which to document. These could be anything from a particular colour, a season or significant objects.
Once completed, the cameras are sent back to Ellie, who places the images in The Photobook Project template - keeping the images in the order they are taken. Each book states the theme, the artist and includes a map in the right-hand corner which locates where the images have been taken.
Ellie has created a project that shifts focus from what's been lost through a dementia diagnosis, to the hope, purpose and connection found flourishing in each photographer.
Recognised internationally as an intergenerational specialist: in 2019 Ellie organised a symposium on intergenerational programmes at the University of Falmouth, of which 3 people living with dementia were keynote speakers alongside world-leading intergenerational care home Humanitas Deventer and project Run Tomo Japan.
She leads an international, cross-disciplinary steering group on intergenerational activity, set up a multi award-winning Penryn Memory Cafe in rural Cornwall, and manages 8 dementia-friendly walking groups for -the Sensory Trust. Ellie is also an online Tutor for Dementia MsC at the University of Hull, inspiring future dementia leaders in the role creativity can take in empowering people living with dementia.