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Discover yourself in The Hideaway

PUBLISHED: 13:04 19 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 03 July 2010

Yarmouth mayor Tony Smith in The Hideaway after officially opening the memory shed.

Yarmouth mayor Tony Smith in The Hideaway after officially opening the memory shed.

Laura Bagshaw

THE latest tool in triggering memories of Alzheimer's disease sufferers was officially opened in Great Yarmouth last week.

Yarmouth mayor Tony Smith cut the ribbon to The Hideaway - a large shed where people suffering dementia can potter about, plant seedlings and get creative in the hope the activity will stimulate the brain and trigger memories.

THE latest tool in triggering memories of Alzheimer's disease sufferers was officially opened in Great Yarmouth last week.

Yarmouth mayor Tony Smith cut the ribbon to The Hideaway - a large shed where people suffering dementia can potter about, plant seedlings and get creative in the hope the activity will stimulate the brain and trigger memories.

The opening at the Kings Centre, in Southtown, last Thursday as part of an all-day event called Aspire held to mark Dementia Awareness Week.

The event included poetry and reading workshops, and a performance by Majestic Brass.

David Dickeson, branch manager of the Alzheimer's Society, explained the project, which

also includes the building of a footpath and concrete ramp to allow disabled access to the shed, had been funded by a £4,000 grant from Tesco.

He said: “The initial thinking behind the shed was that a lot of our activities are geared towards females and we thought the shed would be an excellent idea for the men.

“It's about triggering memories. It could be something like a tool they have not seen in ages which will instantly spark a memory. We encourage people to have memory boxes and put things in them from the past. The shed acts like a memory box and we are hoping all our sufferers will use it, not just the men.”

The shed, which is 8ft long and 6ft wide, is just the start of an outdoor project the local Alzhiemer's Society aims to continue with if further funding can be secured.

“We aim to create a barbecue and patio area in the future,” said Mr Dickeson.

Meanwhile, the event also saw the unveiling of Eli Memory, one of Norfolk's famous model elephants.

A group of over-50s had worked with Sheringham artist Kate Munro to decorate the elephant with pictures reflecting their memories. About 25 people, along with their carers, took part in the project which aimed to trigger memories from the past.

Mr Dickeson said Aspire had been a great success, with more than 170 people attending throughout the day.

“It is important to promote the society because I think there is still a stigma attached to Alzheimer's. The more people who know about us, the more sufferers we can reach,” he said.

For further information on dementia visit www.alzheimers.

org.uk or to contact the local support branch call 01493 655989.

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