An Open Morning held on October 25 here at the Magpie Centre proved a great success.
Aimed at people living with dementia and their carers, the event allowed visitors to meet and greet the ponies, view a demonstration of the Centre’s specially-commissioned wheelchair-accessible carriage, and experience a ‘sensory table’, featuring grooming equipment, a sheepskin saddle, plus items of saddlery such as bits and stirrups. This was followed by tea and cakes, allowing visitors to chat about the activities.
A total of 12 visitors, each accompanied by a carer, participated, and Michael Owen, Activities Co-Ordinator at Dove Court Care Home, Wisbech, was enthusiastic about the benefits to his clients.
‘The residents really enjoyed their visit to the Magpie Centre,’ he said. ‘It was very therapeutic and brought back to several of them their memories of horses from the past. They were very happy after their visit and some of them were talking about it for the next four days at least,’ he added.
The following week saw a ‘Becoming a Dementia Friend’ training session at the Centre, attended by six members of the Centre’s staff, plus 15 volunteers. This was delivered by Anne Cauvin, Volunteering Officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, Norwich.
Going forward, Tea with a Pony sessions, aimed at people living with dementia and their carers, are projected for the New Year, and for these a cohort of volunteers will be needed to make and serve tea and cakes.
If you can help in any way, please contact the Centre on 01553 810202 for a Volunteer form and say that’s the area of activity which appeals to you. If you can make cakes, but are unable to deliver them to the Centre, your help is still very welcome, so do let us know.