Help needed for new community dementia Meeting Centre in Hooton

Retain Wellbeing CIC is planning to open a Meeting Centre close to Hooton Station, near Willaston. It will operate for at least three days per week and is currently looking for support from the local community.

The centre will fit in with the aims and objectives of the Integrated Care Pathway and the dementia strategy for Cheshire West and would be a safe place for people living with mild to moderate dementia to attend with a family member, friend or carer and will operate after COVID-19 on a drop-in basis.

It will help attendees adjust to the changes that take place by offering professional help and support from the Admiral nurse team and from peer support and learning from activity coordinators.

The centre will deliver fun activities which cover cognitive stimulation, hobbies, crafts, gardening, baking, films and music and help to maintain life skills by being involved and responsible for tasks such as tea making, or elements of tasks, depending on capability and thereby maintaining a sense of self-worth.

Caroline Hutton, one of the directors of Retain Wellbeing CIC, which was set up to improve the lives of people living in the community, said, “Our Meeting Centre will be a one-stop-shop for people to come to straight after diagnosis. Through the centre and the Admiral Nurses, we can provide help, support, advice and care right the way through and even after they no longer fit the criteria. 

“The possibilities of what we can do are endless and the model has a proven track record as researched by Worcester University.

“We know that the rise in domestic abuse in households affected by dementia is directly linked to the pandemic. The Admiral Nurses tell us that this, and the added pressure of lockdown restrictions, means carers have little or no resilience left. 

“Our plan is for the Meeting Centre to be self-sustaining once it is established, as others around the country are, but we are looking for help and support to get it going.

“We think there is a need for a centre like this in the local community and want to get it off the ground now. We have found an ideal location in Hooton, right by the train station. 

“We are looking for donations to our Crowdfunding page, volunteers to help us to kit it out and we’re keen for people to let us know their ideas for what services they would like to see. We have a questionnaire on our website which we would love as many people as possible to fill in.”

As well as people’s time and skills, the list of things they need for the Meeting Centre include: wall mounted water heaters, a fogging machine for sterilizing rooms, gardening tools, sets of keys cutting, dementia friendly signage, cleaning supplies, craft items and musical instruments.

They also need people to help with tasks including building a shallow ramp for wheelchair access, internal signage, fixing up the outside yard area and external signage.

You can donate to the Retail Wellbeing CIC Crowdfunder page here.

Their questionnaire can be found here and more information about Admiral Nurses can be found here.

Caroline Hutton and Cathrina Moore, Retain Wellbeing