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Mayoral visit for our Dementia Hub

Dec 05, 2017

(l to r) Hazel Blears, Prof Anthea Innes, Cllr Peter Connor and Leo Nolan-Evans
(l to r) Hazel Blears, Prof Anthea Innes, Cllr Peter Connor and Leo Nolan-Evans

Last week (28 November) the Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, His Worshipful Councillor Peter Connor came along to see the work of the Good Life Club at our Dementia Hub in Allerton. Former Salford and Eccles MP, and former cross party working group on dementia lead, Hazel Blears, a long-term supporter of our work also came along.

Councillor Connor was shown around the facility by Professor Anthea Innes, Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia and Brian Boag, Associate Dean Operations and Strategic Planning in the School of Health and Society. Professor Innes explained to him the many tactile and visual elements to the design of the Hub which assist those living with dementia, such as providing lighting from multiple sources with the aim of providing 4 times the normal lighting levels, brown flooring mat on entry to the building rather than black which can often appear “wet” or a ‘hole’ to older users, mirrors that have the option of being in full view or closed off in the bathroom to offset any feelings of disorientation, as well as larger accessible sinks to help promote independence. There was also a vibrant community space, computer equipment, a carefully-designed kitchen and a garden area outside which received funding from the Mayor’s Office earlier in the year to provide equipment for the Good Life Club.

Councillor Peter Connor said: “The people of Salford are really important to me and this is a real step in helping support them, as well as the wider Greater Manchester community. We are all a global community and it’s great that we are really doing something here in Salford that will transform people’s lives worldwide.”

Hazel Blears also expressed her delight to be here saying the hub was a “living breathing embodiment of what we are all about”. She added: “The energy and commitment of Anthea and all the team really make a difference.”

Associate Dean, Brian Boag welcomed and thanked all the distinguished guests on behalf of the University remarking on the wonderful achievements that had been made in such a short space of time.

Service user, Leo Nolan-Evans presented the Mayor with a poinsettia and a glass flower he had made as part of the variety of activities that take place in the Hub.

Leo, who lives with dementia, said: “This place has really made a difference to me. As a retired academic with a linguistic and musical background, I feel intellectually stimulated coming to a University environment and I have done some clowning work with Richard Talbot in the School of Arts and Media. Although dementia can be debilitating in some ways, on a positive side, I have noticed my creativity has really flourished.”

Anthea Innes said: “We are so pleased that Councillor Peter Connor could see the fruits of the grant he gave us for using the community garden. He has been a real supporter and friend of the University since the Hub was opened by Christopher Eccleston in May 2017.”

The Dementia Hub provides a Good Life Club on every other Tuesday and SID’s Café on the first Monday of every month. The calendar of activities is planned at regular Associates’ meetings made up of staff and community users who are “experts by experience” at knowing what would work well. These include dance, memory boxes, a Christmas party and a planned concert programme with professional musicians to launch in the new year.