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New community hub to open in renovated old school




A family fun day for the grand opening of a new community hub is taking place on Saturday in Haverhill.

The Memories Are Golden community hub has been set up to help people living with dementia and for those aged over 65 who are at risk of feeling isolated in Haverhill and surrounding villages.

The not for profit organisation has been initiated by a small group of Community Home carers.

Natalie Gilder, registered manager for Haverhill Community Care , Isabel Osborne, Dementia Care coach and team leader, Lorraine Juniper, Dementia Care coach, and Kelly Kennedy-Smith, Hub Manager. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Natalie Gilder, registered manager for Haverhill Community Care , Isabel Osborne, Dementia Care coach and team leader, Lorraine Juniper, Dementia Care coach, and Kelly Kennedy-Smith, Hub Manager. Picture by Mecha Morton.

Kelly Kennedy-Smith works as a community carer for Haverhill Community Care.

She said: “Doing our job I noticed there was a need for this at the centre of Haverhill.”

The hub has been renovated from two old laboratory classrooms and a courtyard in the old Parkway School, which have been transformed into a fully functioning kitchen, memory corridor and unisex disabled toilet.

The grand opening is open for anyone to attend and will be a day of exciting events including, a car boot sale, barbecue, bouncy castles, funfair games, inflatables, refreshments, face painting, a princess activity castle, live entertainment, a driving school for all ages, among other activities.

The event will run from 11am until 4pm, with all proceeds from the day going to the hub.

Kelly said: “The amount of support we have had has been amazing. People donated their time and materials which was really good.”

The hub’s purpose is to bring together individuals living with dementia, and those
who are over 65 years who may be at risk of social isolation, their families and friends
and the community to provide meaningful activities, entertainment and events, to improve wellbeing, build friendships and to reduce social isolation.

Kelly and her manager Natalie Gilder managed to get a grant from Haverbury Housing as well as funding from the lottery. They have been working on the project for around a year now.

Kelly’s family have been holding car boot sales every Tuesday and Thursday where they have managed to raise £6,000 to go towards the hub.

Kelly and Natalie now hope to expand the hub to include a sensory garden and have applied to the town council to fund this with a grant.



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