Fiddle mat makers extend their reach
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
A GROUP making fiddle mats for people with dementia are expanding their reach.
More than 100 fiddle mats have been distributed to care homes and individuals in Barnard Castle, prompting volunteers to now look to other areas in Teesdale that might want them.
Reporting to a meeting of the Barnard Castle Dementia Support group last month, fiddle mat organiser Theresa Atkinson said the Manor House, Beaconsfield and Kings Court care homes had each been given 30 mats which offer stimulation for those living with the disease.
She said: “We have also given them out to people in the community who have their loved one at home.
“We don’t take any charge for them – we purely and simply make them from things that we find around and what people donate to us. We also have some funds because people are generous and give us donations sometimes.”
Ms Atkinson added that the group would now look at supplying fiddle mats to care homes in Evenwood.
She reported there had been major changes to the group since the last meeting before the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Atkinson said: “Unfortunately at the very start of Covid we sadly lost Mavis Willoughby, who was absolutely amazing and brought the idea of fiddle mats for us to do, but we will keep her legacy going – although we probably won’t be as neat as Mavis was. We are doing it at our own homes rather than meeting because we have lost our venue – we used to do it at the YMCA.”
The group is appealing for donations of items, including felt, Velcro, zips, keys, jewellery and any other useful materials to continue their work. Anyone who can help can contact Ms Atkinson on 01833 638213.