ON Thursday (Jul 26) the older people in the community were celebrated with a digital and photographic exhibition at the Ffwrnes Theatre in Llanelli.

Carmarthenshire Voices is a project set up by People Speak Up with the aim of connecting communities through spoken word, storytelling and creative writing.

The exhibition filled out the Llanelli Theatre with photo gallery displays, videos and audio devices which included many inspiring stories from the older generations.

A number of the participants were dementia sufferers or had suffered with mental health issues.

Present at the exhibition included the Mayor of Llanelli David Darkin and actor Ioan Hefin, who both enjoyed listening to some of the many stories on display.

The main team behind the project includes Artistic Director Eleanor Shaw, Digital Artist David Pitt and Photographer Michelle Laugharne Perrott.

Speaking to Llanelli Online Eleanor Shaw said: “The project is all about celebrating a moment in time and giving people a voice as well as breaking down any taboos associated with dementia and mental health issues.

“We have participants sharing stories of regret. There is one story of a gentleman who was a police officer in Africa which was massively inspiring.

“As humans we all need to have our voices heard and sometimes when you are suffering from an illness or a condition you can be hidden away so I feel coming to the exhibitions to hear each others stories is very important and worthwhile.”

There is a growing recognition on the importance of this kind of work

Digital Artist David Pitt

On Saturday (Jul 28) and Sunday (Jul 29) the Tenovus Cancer Care ‘Sing With Us’ choir performed in the Theatre to help raise awareness and funds.

The performance was a moving, openhearted and life affirming sharing of songs and stories of bravery, challenge and survival.

The choir are well-known in the area and have performed at a number of events including their most recent fundraising performance at the St Elli Centre last week.

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David Pitt added: “Some of the participants because of their age find their hearing and memories become fragmented so what I am able to do with sound editing is to piece it back together so they can better understand what is being said.

“It is very moving material and it is a great privilege to listen to it.

“There is a growing recognition on the importance of this kind of work and it is as easy as listening to people and ensuring that they known that they are being heard.”

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