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30 July 2018

Reconnecting with the past, thanks to Big Lottery Fund

Reminiscence villageHolmfield Day Centre in North West Leicester is delighted to announce a successful bid to Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All Programme. The award of £10,000 will help the team complete a new ‘reminiscence village’.

Working in partnership with neighbour George Hythe House Care Home - both owned by NCHA - Holmfield have designed a space in their gardens, for day visitors and residents to enjoy.

The reminiscence village will provide a passage back in time, to a place that will be easily recognised by those living with dementia.

The walk through village will include everything you’d find in an old high street; a butchers, a bakers, a sweetshop and Post Office. The baker’s window will have bread and cakes on display and through the window of the sweetshop visitors will be able to spy jars of retro sweets and shop scales.

At the end of the street will be a pub and café, where visitors can relax and spend time with friends in a safe and secure environment.

The idea was originally the brainchild of Anne Byrne, Support Worker at Holmfield, who had seen similar ideas work in other places, and wanted to provide the same experience for her customers.

“It just seemed like such a simple, but effective idea,” Anne explains. “Our customers, and the residents at George Hythe House will be able to reminisce about good times in their younger days. We’re creating something that they can understand, something that they can share and enjoy with friends.”

Emma Wheatley, Assistant Manager at George Hythe House can’t wait to take the residents to visit the new facilities: “The modern world can seem overwhelming and confusing to a person living with dementia, this will provide them with a familiar space that they can make sense of, a place they can access with our support. The walk through will trigger memories and help them make positive connections to the past.”

An additional £2,700 has been kindly donated by EEM, a not for profit procurement consortium, of whom NCHA are a member.

Other funds have been contributed by NCHA, families, Nationwide Windows and Doors, Cambridge and Counties Bank and the George Hythe House Friends and Family group.

Dedicated staff at Holmfield have been busy raising money through raffles and parties and over the summer three groups of young people will be fundraising as part of their time with the National Citizenship Service programme.

The reminiscence village is expected to be complete in September 2018. The facility will be available daily for the visitors to the day centre, and the residents of George Hythe House.