Waste of space transformed into sensory space in St Helens

AN old room used for storing clutter in an ExtraCare village has been transformed into a stunning sensory space for seniors – thanks to a donation from a wish granting charity for the elderly.

Residents at Reeve Court Village in Rainhill, St Helens, have a brand new sensory room featuring tactile colour changing fibre optics, a calming bubble tube and soothing mood lighting strips – all thanks to a donation from the Bring Joy Foundation.

The charity was established just over a year ago by national homecare provider Home Instead Senior Care. Its charity has a sole mission – to bring the joy and fun back into ageing and to fund events and activities that make older people smile. Getting older brings many challenges but the Bring Joy Foundation believes ageing doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

The charity was especially touched by the application for a donation from Reeve Court Village to fund the £2,721 sensory room – to make a classic case of ‘changing rooms’.

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust manages Reeve Court Village – home to 260 residents ranging from their mid 50s to 100 years of age. Reeve Court is also the base for 82 members of staff including employees that specialise in elder and dementia care.

It was the village’s employee, dementia specialist Norma Mather who appealed for the donation – to give the old room a brand new lease of life.

The Bring Joy Foundation-funded sensory room is open every day for residents, their families, visitors and employees alike.

The sensory experience complements existing wellbeing facilities at the ExtraCare village, including a gym, hair salon, library and restaurant.

Win Wilkinson and Cynthia Seddon have been Reeve Court residents and friends for 12 years, ever since they moved into the ExtraCare village.

Win, a 75-year-old great grandmother-of-eight, said: “It makes you feel happy as sunshine being in the sensory room. You can watch the lights change from blues, to greens and yellows. It’s so calming and such a lovely place to watch the world go by.”

Grandmother-of-two Cynthia, aged 84, added: “I love watching the bubbles float up in the tube, and when it goes into blue and pink shades especially. You can just come in here, think about your thoughts, then crack on with the day feeling brightened up.”

Sam Brocklebank, Founder of the Bring Joy Foundation, said: “Transforming a waste of space into a treasured, sensory place for seniors is exactly the type of difference we wanted to make to older people’s lives through our wish granting charity. We’re thrilled that our donation has helped make a sensory haven for Reeve Court Village residents, families and employees alike.”

The Bring Joy Foundation invites applications all year round and from across the UK from groups, clubs or organisations looking for donations to make older people’s wishes come true. For more information visit: www.bringjoyfoundation.org/