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Volunteering to tackle dementia

Thursday, 23 February 2017

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As part of our People Charity partnership with the Alzheimer's Society, teams from across GVA have been using their property nous to volunteer. During February staff have transformed a dementia care centre and helped install a special dementia care garden.

Transforming a dementia care centre

At the Templeton dementia care centre in Northwood, our West End Management team spent the day decorating the activity room, GVA Acuity brightening up the hall way, Property Management Consultancy tackled the lounge as part of a transformation of the entire centre. Shortly, members of our Building team will spend two days completing changes to the large main hall area and in the Spring, a team will fix the gardens.

The centre has been operating since 1998, but has had no re-decoration in that time, so the West End Management team had to make it bright and welcoming again. The team had an enjoyable time working together to sand, clean and re-paint the activity room into a cheerful yellow. Overall, everyone felt a great sense of accomplishment.

Creating dementia friendly gardens

Eight volunteers from our Healthcare, Sustainability, Research and GVA Acuity teams came together to help shape the garden at the Goodman dementia care centre in Kent, to make it more dementia friendly. This successful pilot now means that we will roll out more of these dementia garden volunteering opportunities to other office locations.

The project was hosted by 'Living Through Landscapes' and funded by the big lottery. The idea was to make more use of the outdoor space for the residents and visitors; providing a range of health and wellbeing benefits as a result of increased access to the natural environment (both autonomous and supported).

Here's what Assistant Project Manager in GVA Acuity, Pawel Banasiak, said about the experience. "The day started with meeting fellow volunteers from other teams on the journey, before two professional gardeners showed us what we needed to do and gave guidance on how to do it. The garden was specially designed to influence the senses of the patients to help evoke past memories.

"We spent the day digging holes, planting a variety of small trees, flowers and shrubs, spreading mulch and laying turf. This was a fantastic way to spend the day with a great group of people, and for a great cause! Plus I got to learn more about gardening. I would be very keen to take part in more volunteering days".

For more information about volunteering activities and our partnership with the Alzheimer's Society, contact Corporate Responsibility Assistant on 020 7911 2944 or email natasha.lee@gva.co.uk.

Volunteering to tackle dementia