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19 September 2018

A walk down memory lane

Some of Leicester’s oldest residents have been taking a stroll down memory lane, thanks to a fantastic new facility at Holmfield Day Centre, a purpose-built day centre dedicated to supporting people living with dementia and their families.

The ‘reminiscence village’ has been designed to provide a passage back in time, to a place that will be easily recognised by those living with dementia. It will be a quiet and reflective space for day visitors to Holmfield and the residents of neighbouring George Hythe House Care Home.

Set up as a 1940s/50s high street, behind the shop windows loaves are piled up in the bakery, meat hangs from hooks in the butchers and in the Post Office, parcels are stacked, displaying stamps from yesteryear. The displays will help spark old memories.

Retro sweets can be brought from the sweet shop and the pub and café are fully kitted out to serve customers.

For Sarah, whose Dad has been visiting the day centre for ten years, memories are very important: “This is such a safe environment for Dad; the staff are so lovely here. He really gets a lot out of seeing friends and listening to music. I’m sure they’ll be plenty of music for him to enjoy in the pub!”

The reminiscence village was the vision of Support Worker Anne Byrne: “We wanted to create a place where our visitors can reminisce about good times in their younger days. We’ve created something that they can understand.”

For one visitor Ron, the opening was particularly poignant. Having attended the centre since it’s opening in 1998, there was no one better equipped to name the new pub – “Everyone’s Local.”

Ron opened the pub to great cheers from the crowd before enjoying a sip of a well deserved pint.

The honour of opening the new café fell to the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Ross Grant, following a tour of the new facility; “One of the best things about being Lord Mayor is visiting projects and seeing the impact they make in their community. It has been humbling to hear about the project and how it will impact visitors to the centre and their families.”

David Eminson, Contracts Manager for NCHA, added: “This village is about making people’s lives better. For a person living with dementia, this space offers a break from, what can often be a confusing, modern world.

“There are a few other reminiscence villages in the country, but none I imagine that have been a labour of love for so many different people.”

Special thanks for donations and practical help go to: BIG Lottery Fund, Efficiency East Midlands, Magnet, the young people of the National Citizenship Scheme, the staff at Cambridge and Counties Bank, Ramscapes, Coles Nursery, Parkinson Construction, M.D. Electrical and The Friends of George Hythe House.

The reminiscence village is a collaboration between Holmfield Day Centre and neighbouring George Hythe House Care Home. The new space will be available for day visitors and residents to enjoy. For more information, call 0116 236 8115 or email holmfield@ncha.org.uk 


Ron enjoys a pint at ‘Everyone’s Local’


The Lord Mayor enjoys a cuppa


The fantastic ‘Land Army’ at Holmfield