On Friday 12th October, a group from The Bridge in Hartlepool went on a very special trip to Botton Village in the North Yorkshire moors.
Botton Village was founded in 1955 as a therapeutic setting for adults with learning disabilities to live in a supportive community and gain experience working outdoors. Today around 230 people live in the village with their support workers, and grow and live on much of their own produce. Many of their residents have lived their for several years, and some people are beginning to experience age related issues such as dementia. As a result of this, Botton are wanting to make sure their existing services are suitable for people with dementia and their carers, as well as developing new projects specifically for people with memory problems.
Staff at Botton contacted the Bridge to ask for our expertise as they group and develop to open up their facilities to people living with dementia. All of our group have some experience of living with dementia, and have been specially invited to Botton to assess how dementia friendly their facilities are. Despite the torrential rain, we had a look around some of the farm's facilities, and were really impressed with what we saw. Hints and tips we provided included making sure signage is visible, as well as coloured bathroom facilities to help people continue to be independent if they are able to be.
Despite the weather, we all really enjoyed the trip and looking at Botton's facilities. We even had a sing song in their concert hall, with Vinny giving us a very special solo performance, which has since clocked up over 5000 views and that you can watch on the Hospital of God Facebook page.
A big thank you to Dementia Friendly Hartlepool for supporting this by funding our transport and to Botton for having us. We can't wait to come back when the weather improves!