Community centre marks 25th birthday

Photo one: (From left) Katy Pugh, Chief Executive of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire, Nigel''Mills, MP, Barry Bestall, resident who has lived at Firs Gardens the longest and Paul ''Parkinson, Executive Director of Futures Homescape.
Photo one: (From left) Katy Pugh, Chief Executive of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire, Nigel''Mills, MP, Barry Bestall, resident who has lived at Firs Gardens the longest and Paul ''Parkinson, Executive Director of Futures Homescape.
0
Have your say

An Alfreton community centre received a special dementia-friendly makeover to mark its 25th anniversary.

The newly refurbished Firs Gardens Community Centre opened its doors to more than 50 people, including MP Nigel Mills and its longest running resident, Barry Beastall.

Guests were kept entertained by sing-a-longs and the centre’s resident health trainers supplied a healthy eating buffet.

At the celebration, older residents were also given the chance to step back into the 1950’s in a REMPOD – a room designed to stimulate and evoke the memories of people with dementia.

Chief executive of Age UK Derby and Derbyshire, Katy Pugh, said: “Age UK has been using the method of reminiscing for a long time, but the community centre has been an invaluable resource for the project due to it having a designated space available for the REMPOD. One lady who suffered with dementia had the longest and most engaging conversation she had held for years after a visit to the room reminded her of her dislike for the wallpaper.”

The centre, which is one of the bases used by lifestyle coaches who have provided support to more than 1,000 local people, has recently become home to ‘Memory Lane’, a support group for people with dementia.

As well as its 25 years serving the community, the building was once home to Mortimer Wilson, an influential industrialist and now houses the Alfreton History trail, which gives a historical snap shot of the town through photographs displayed on the walls of the centre.