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Bromsgrove Shedders make Activity Boards for local Dementia Meeting Centre

Published on 10 August 2021 10:24 PM

Thanks to the support of North Worcestershire Rotary Club, Age UK BRWF’s Bromsgrove Men In Sheds have made a set of Activity Boards for members of the Droitwich Spa Dementia Meeting Centre.

Prior to the pandemic, the Bromsgrove Shedders started working with the North Worcestershire Rotary Club on a project to use their woodwork and design skills to develop and make ‘Twiddle Boards’ to support local people living with dementia. Twiddle Boards (and other similar fiddle products, such as knitted Twiddle Muffs) have been shown to help promote focus and tactile experiences, which can be beneficial to a person living with dementia, helping to relieve tension and restlessness.

Although the project was impacted by the pandemic, during lockdown the Shedders worked as a ‘Virtual Shed’ producing a variety of different ‘protype’ Twiddle Board designs, from items that they had around their homes. Once restrictions were lifted, and the Shed was able to re-open in May, representatives from the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre (which provides a place where people are supported to understand and adapt to living with dementia) came along to review the prototypes (see photograph below) to see which designs might most benefit their members.

The Shedders initial protype ‘Twiddle Boards’

Thanks to funding from the Rotary, the Shedders were able to purchase materials to convert their prototypes to create a series of Activity Boards, the first set of which were recently collected from the Shed by Age UK Herefordshire & Worcestershire’s Anne Montgomery, who is the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre Coordinator.

An an example of one of the Activity Boards made by the Shedders

Speaking about the Boards, Anne said, "The members of the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre will really enjoy having these Activity Boards which have been made up for them by the Shedders. Most of the male members, and several of the ladies, have told us how they previously enjoyed DIY and being involved in ‘practical’ tasks. These Boards will help stimulate memories and, being involved in solving the puzzle, will give our members a great sense of achievement. I would like to say a huge thank you, to everyone involved who has made it possible for the Centre to have the Twiddle Boards.”

Age UK BRWF’s Jo Hughes added, ‘We are really grateful to the North Worcestershire Rotary for supporting Bromsgrove Men In Sheds with this community project. Based on national figures, 1 in every 14 of the population over 65 years has dementia and it is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the UK will care for someone with dementia in their lifetime, so dementia is something that will touch many of our lives. We know the difference that the Shed makes to those that are able to attend – through this, and other similar projects, we hope to share this difference with members of the wider local community.

Men in Sheds originates from an Australian project started in the 1990’s, called Men’s Sheds, as a way of tackling loneliness and social isolation in older men where retirement can mean loss of status and contact. Anyone interested in joining or supporting Bromsgrove Men In Sheds can find out more by contacting Jo Hughes at Age UK BRWF on 01527 568855 or by visiting our Men In Sheds website page

Your Local Shed needs You!

Find out how you can support Bromsgrove Men In Sheds through our annual ‘Shed Share’ sponsorship scheme