COMMUNITY artist and support worker Simon Young is helping patients with early stage dementia re-route their memories with spectacular mural on the wall of their ward.

The Rowan Tree of Life hangs on the Rowan Ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital, which specialises in helping people with functioning dementia.

Simon's mural is interactive in it allows patients to add their own images, graphics on card and memories using velcro.

"Every person has a unique life story," said Simon, 52, who trained in graphic design and who has always had a love of art.

"The patient love it, because they love talking about their lives. It's engrossing because it's a chance for them to reflect."

The mural was installed in April last year, and is updated constantly by Simon, who was initially approached by occupational therapist technical instructor and ward manager Nichola Kinane to produce the piece after they were impressed by his previous work on the mental health ward.

Simon added: "It's amazing how patients can remember every detail from events in their childhood yet they can't remember what happened earlier in the day. This all part of helping them to engage with others and have conversations."