The Memory Village at Age UK’s Devonshire House was officially opened on Thursday 18th May by the Civic Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams.
The restoration project will be featured on the popular Channel 5 show "Challenge Anneka," hosted by the renowned Anneka Rice. Residents from across the borough, including Wirral Met Carpentry and Joinery students, were called up on to help Anneka and her team to completely refurbish the dementia care building and garden.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the team of local volunteers, the memory village now includes a pub, café, cinema, record shop, bakers, and post office among other areas for residents to use. The village provides a safe and engaging environment for individuals living with dementia to wander around, featuring items that will trigger memories.
Students studying Carpentry and Joinery at Wirral Met College enthusiastically contributed their skills and expertise to revitalise the space. The project involved restoring benches, constructing a beautiful gazebo, and enhancing the overall ambiance of the memory village.
Lynne Hamilton, Fundraising & Events Manager at Age UK expressed his admiration for the students' work, saying, "We’d like to say a very big thank you to everyone from Wirral Met who came along to support this project, this would not have been possible without you. We hope you enjoyed being a part of this unique experience.” The restoration efforts have undoubtedly brought joy and comfort to the residents of the Devonshire House memory village.
The Civic Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams, personally thanked the students for their hard work “The students have been an integral part of this project and we are thankful for Wirral Met’s continued dedication to supporting initiatives that benefit the Wirral region” This unique opportunity allowed the students to witness the positive impact their craftsmanship has had on the community.
The lead tutor for the project at Wirral Met College, emphasised the significance of this project for the students, stating, "This is such a great opportunity for the students to get out here and experience the joy their work has given so many of the residents here at Devonshire House." The restoration project served as a valuable work experience for students, an integral part of the career focused courses offered by the college.
Paul Crawford, Head of Construction at Wirral Met College, expressed his gratitude to Age UK for involving the college in the project, saying, "It's the work experience opportunities that take the students' learning to another level. They get a real-life insight into the different tasks and interactions between different trades. This gives a well-rounded insight into the experience when they go out full-time into the trade." Crawford extended a heartfelt thank you to Lynne and the team at Age UK for their collaboration, describing it as a pleasure to be involved in such a meaningful project.
The successful restoration of the dementia memory village stands as a testament to the dedication, skill, and compassion of the students from Wirral Met College. Through their efforts, they have made a lasting impact on the lives of local residents living with Dementia, creating an environment that promotes well-being, comfort, and cherished memories.