Schools Programme

Transition Year School Ambassador Programme 2024/2025

We are inviting all secondary school Transition Year students to begin a conversation about supporting people living with dementia in our community. We hope this initiative will bring a better understanding of what is needed to make our neighbourhoods more welcoming and inclusive places for everyone.

The programme consists of a one hour interactive session which we facilitate in person in schools in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and north Wicklow. In exchange we ask for a donation from the school such as €2 per student or for your students to organise a fundraising event for us.

The in-person session covers the following:

  • What is dementia?
  • Introduction to St Joseph’s
  • Introduction to the type of care provided in a Butterfly Home
  • How to communicate with people living with dementia
  • Questions and answers


We recommend that students complete their Life Story in advance of the in-person session for themselves. They can use our template.

For further information or to book a talk contact Nicola on (01) 282 3000 or at

Transition Year Work Experience 2024/2025

In 2024/2025 we can facilitate a limited number of in-person work experience/community action placements for Transition Year students. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate every student who applies. If you would like to be considered for one of our placements, please contact Niamh on (o1) 282 3000 or at

Cherished Memories Art Competition 2025

Watch this space for next year’s competition!

Cherished Memories Art Competition 2019

Explorium: The National Sports and Science Centre hosted the inaugural Cherished Memories Art Competition Prize giving on 18 June 2019 as a part of St Joseph’s primary schools dementia awareness programme; the first of its kind in the country.

Mark Langtry the Science guy and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor were on hand to present the students with their prizes.

Forty local primary schools were invited to enter and over 600 students took part in one of the five categories.

The “Cherished Memories Art Competition” focused on cherished memories, and what memories mean to primary school children. Children took part by drawing their cherished memory and wrote a few words about that memory explaining why it is important to them.

Thanks to Lidl Shankill  and Explorium for their support.

Classroom Resources:

Secondary School Resources:

Check out The Brain, from the Fantastic to the Forgetful Workbook; A dementia awareness programme for junior cycle and transition year.  Published by Dementia Services Information and Development Centre.

We also recommend downloading the app, A Walk Through Dementia, presented by Alzheimer’s Research UK. It is a unique app designed to put you in the shoes of someone living with dementia. Find out more here.

The Can You See What I See? book promotes living well with dementia and advocates for society to see the person first and not the disease. It is strongly informed by listening to people living with dementia, and to those who support them, their families, friends and the medical professionals. It is available in libraries nationwide and available to purchase at:

For more information about dementia in Ireland check out:

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland

Understand Together

National Dementia Strategy

Primary School Resources:

We have compiled some international resources that you may find interesting for classroom discussion.


‘Dear Grandma’ published by the Alzheimers Society of Ireland

This publication is a story book for children aged 8 years and over to help to explain dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The book focuses on two children and their experience with their grandma and the changes that her condition brings.

‘Feathers in my Brain’ by The Crystal Project

This book sensitively addresses how a diagnosis of dementia can be felt by all the family and how inclusion and openness can help everyone. We hope that families will read this book together and gain insights into ways in which children can continue to connect with their loved ones with dementia.


These Teachers’ toolkits for 5 – 7  and 7 – 11 years from the UK, includes memory, brain and puzzles games, plus teacher’s notes in the “Creating a dementia-friendly generation” lesson ready resources.

For 5-7 year old children; Alzheimer’s Society – Key Stage One

For 7-11 year old children; Alzheimer’s Society – Key Stage Two

This ‘Generations Working together’ work-pack has some interesting games and links for the upper age group of primary school students.

There are some age-appropriate explanations of dementia along with games and videos and a ‘memory board’ on the Alzheimers Research UK website for juniors and pre-teens below:

For younger children: What is Dementia?

For ages 7 – 12: Which illnesses cause Dementia?


Find out how memories are made and what you can do to help your memory.

FreeDem Films is a series of short, easy to watch videos about dementia.

This video explains “How does memory work?”

Alzheimer’s Society’s UK ‘Memories with Grandma’ is a new animation to help raise awareness of dementia for 7-11 year olds. Schools and youth groups can also use this short film with an accompanying lesson plan to create Dementia Friends.

Mr Alzheimers And Me follows three young people who tell their very personal stories of living with grandparents who have dementia.

Kids4Dementia: What is the one memory you wouldn’t want to forget?

Kids4Dementia: What is it like having a parent or grandparent with dementia?