Dementia Action Week: Doncaster day centre opens its doors for advice event

A Doncaster day centre is opening its doors to the public during Dementia Action Week so local people can find out more about how to better support people living with the condition.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 11:53 am

Sandalwood in Wheatley Hills, a social centre for people with dementia and older people who are socially isolated, is opening its doors to the public on 18 May.

The centre on Sandalwood Close offers social and creative activities, freshly cooked daily lunches and an active programme of events every weekday, all under the care and guidance of a team of qualified support workers.

The open day, which will take place from 10.30am to 2.30pm, is being held to encourage people to call in and find out what’s on offer.

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Sandalwood will open its doors next week to help people with dementia.

Janet Griffiths is the manager at Sandalwood, which is operated by national adult health and social care charity Making Space.

She said: “Dementia Action Week is a very important national annual event to raise the profile of dementia and encourage people to seek a diagnosis if they display symptoms,”

“Here at Sandalwood, we offer a welcoming social environment for people who already have a diagnosis of dementia, or older people who may feel socially isolated, to help them to enjoy an active, fulfilled life.

“Our service is geared towards providing a safe space for people to socialise, with activities and events that stimulate memory and recognition. We also have a beautiful, safe and private garden with a water feature and summer house for people to enjoy.

“The open day is the perfect opportunity for people who may be looking for some support or company to come and see what we offer.”

As well as providing a social space for people with dementia, Sandalwood provides respite for their carers.

Janet explains: “Carers often find it difficult to get time to themselves, whether it’s to do a bit of shopping, have a haircut, go to a hospital appointment or just take a break. We’re open Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 4.30, so it’s an ideal opportunity for carers to be able to take some time out knowing that their loved ones are safe in the care of qualified support workers and in an environment they enjoy.”

Visitors to the Sandalwood open day will be treated to refreshments and live music, fun games and activities and be free to explore the centre and its garden.

“Our garden is very popular, it’s a beautiful space and very private,” says Janet. “Not everyone has somewhere safe to sit outside, so if people want to stop by to spend some time outdoors, then they’re very welcome. We’re hoping for sunshine, but if we don’t get it then we have our new summer house for people to enjoy.”

Although Sandalwood does accept referrals from medical professionals, it’s also open to anyone to book. Sessions are currently offered at £25 for a half day, including refreshments and lunch, or full days at £45, which also includes lunch and additional refreshments available throughout the day.

Alongside manager Janet, the centre is staffed by a full-time senior support worker, one full-time and two part-time support workers, all of whom are qualified in working with people who are living with dementia. Sandalwood also has its own cook, who serves a varied selection of home-cooked food every day, with all dietary requirements catered for.

The support workers lay on a varied programme of activities every day, with themes, quizzes, arts and crafts, live music and singing.

To find out more about Sandalwood, go along to the open day – there’s no need to book – or contact Janet and her team on 01302 327318 or [email protected] to arrange a free-of-charge taster session.