The Napkin Project Film

The Napkin Project developed by arts in health consultants Willis Newson and artist Deidre Nelson, invited volunteers to embroider napkins around the theme of home, which were then gifted to a care home to be used to encourage and enable reminiscence with elderly residents.

The project built on the observation that many of the elderly residents at a dementia care home run by Brunelcare loved touching and playing with fabric edges, especially napkins. In four months the project generated a wonderful collection of 120 embroidered napkins which are used to spark conversation and as part of reminiscence work.

The 5 minute film tells the story of the project in the words of those who took part. If you are unable to see the film above, click here

The first phase of the project has now come to an end, but the story continues.

To find out how to get involved in the next stage email

Nursing and Residential Care Journal

Willis Newson in NRC articleThis month The Napkin Project was featured in the NRC (Nursing and Residential Care Journal) it was a lovely piece written by Jane Willis Director at Willis Newson the arts consultants responsible for developing and managing the project alongside artist Deirdre Nelson. Unfortunately the piece is currently only available in a hard copy format, however you can read more about the project by visiting the Willis Newson website.

Celebration event

celebrationWe held a celebration event to gift all of the finished napkins to Saffron Gardens, Brunelcare. Here are some photos that were taken at the time for you to see. The event was the first time the residents had seen all of the napkins, Deirdre Nelson ran a sewing workshop and we celebrated with tea and cake!

The Napkin project celebrationCelebration eventCelebrationCelebration event

The Napkin Project makes Guardian top five photo galleries in 2013

A project by Willis Newson Arts and Health

The Napkin Project

We are very excited that The Napkin Project made The Guardian’s Arts and Heritage top five photo galleries for 2013! The project was also featured as an article back in November on the Guardian Culture Professionals website  . The photos were taken by Jim Wileman during the celebration event at Brunelcare when all of the napkins were gifted to the care home.  Thank you to everyone who took part.

Arts projects put health and wellbeing on centre stage

Willis Newson Arts and Health Project

Creativity can be an inspiration for people living with dementia and we wanted to tell more people about how important that is. We wanted to get people involved so they could see how powerful craft could be. We started with an everyday object, and with the help of people all over the country, transformed plain white squares of fabric into a focal point for residents at Saffron Gardens dementia care home in Bristol.

The Napkin Project has been kindly funded by Bristol City Council, Brunelcare and The Arts Council England. The Arts Council recently featured the project as one of many that puts health and wellbeing on centre stage. We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the project and if you would like to get involved in the future please let us know.

Guardian Culture Professionals article

A project by Willis Newson Arts and Health

We are all very excited at The Napkin Project HQ to learn that The Guardian Culture Professionals has written an article about The Napkin Project!  The article called “How creativity and craft are tackling dementia … one stitch at a time” also has a  picture gallery which shows images from the celebration event when all of the napkins were gifted to Brunelcare. 

The Napkin Project Exhibition


On Thursday 12th September please join us for an exhibition of a selection of beautiful individually embroidered napkins at the Wellspring Centre, Beam Street
Barton Hill, Bristol,  BS5 9QY, between 6-8pm.

This is a great opportunity to see the finished napkins before they are given to Saffron Care home. If you missed out creating your own napkin, don’t worry as there will also be the opportunity to have a go at embroidering one the night.

If you are able to attend all we ask that you RSVP by our eventbrite page