Bagshot's Windle Valley Centre has been officially reopened following a £40,000 dementia-friendly transformation.
Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive Karen Whelan and Surrey Heath Deputy Mayor Cllr Dan Adams cut the ribbon on the refurbished centre at a ceremony on Thursday March 8, as regular clients of the popular centre looked on.
SHBC invested in the refurbishment of the which provides a range of activities and services for older residents in the borough.
The Council worked on the refurbishment with design company Access 21, who in interior design for the care sector and also in dementia design, having been trained by the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University.
This ensured that the furniture, materials and schemes used in the refurbishment were dementia-friendly and specially designed for the care setting, as well as being modern and attractive.
Karen Whelan said: "We are dedicated to offering the best services to all sectors of the community, and this fantastic dementia-friendly refurbishment of our Windle Valley Centre reinforces our commitment to our older residents.
"Complementing the attached Wellbeing Centre which we opened in 2015, this transformation offers excellent facilities to the many users of this well-loved community hub.
"It was so lovely to have the opportunity to chat to the wonderful people who use the and hear how they have made new friendships and really enjoy the time they spend at Windle Valley. We all had a delightful singalong too. I'm very proud SHBC is supporting such a positive happy place."
After the main speeches one regular visitor to the , Brenda, stood up and made an amazing thoughtful impromptu speech about how the has brought her so much joy and has greatly improved her happiness and zest for life.
The reopening of the centre was also attended by guests including Surrey Heath Portfolio Holder for Community Cllr Vivienne Chapman, SHBC Executive Head of Community Tim , and Mike Brooks from Access 21 and Windle Valley Centre staff.
Cllr Vivienne Chapman, said: “The Windle Valley Centre is a crucial resource for older residents in Surrey Heath, and I am delighted to see the results of this refurbishment. It will ensure the centre continues to cater to the specific needs of users.”
Centre Manager Louise added: “It was a wonderful afternoon. The refurbishment has been a huge success - everyone likes the light and airy atmosphere, which we have balanced with comfort and practicality.
"It’s a great springboard for the service - we are introducing a Carer Respite service this year. This will assist people caring for someone at home, giving them a much-needed break when they need extra support.”
In addition, the facility will be made available for local voluntary and community organisations to hire for their own activities and events.
The Windle Valley Centre, open Monday to Friday, offers a range of activities to suit all tastes and abilities, including exercise, craft and music – along with a delicious home-cooked two course lunch.
As well as the chance to socialise and make friends, clients can also make appointments with a visiting hairdresser and Foot Health Practitioner.
The Saturday Club for carers and the cared-for is also open from 2-5pm.
Clients are welcome to visit using private transport, but many use the convenient Community Transport service which picks up from their home address and returns them home at the end of the day.
Providing services which support older people is a priority for the Council. During the period 2015 to 2025 the proportion of the population in Surrey Heath in all age groups aged 55 and over is projected to increase. There are significant predicted increases in those aged over 65 years, with the population aged over 85 years predicted to increase by nearly 60% compared to around 40% for Surrey as a whole.
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