Fiddle mats donated to adult care centre
BEAUTIFULLY crafted “fiddle mats” that provide stimulation to those living with dementia have been donated to an adult day care centre in Barnard Castle.
Members of the town’s dementia friendly group, Ian Kirkbride and Theresa Atkinson, handed over the six fiddle mats to Phoenix Day Care, on Harmire Road.
It is the third donation of mats, which are made using differing textiles to feel and things to open and close to keep hands busy.
A batch of 30 were handed to the Manor House care home about three years ago with a further batch presented to the Beaconsfield just before lockdown. A number of mats have also been given to individuals.
Mr Kirkbride said: “Mavis Willoughby, who started us on the road to providing these stimulation aids for those living with dementia, died last year, but her legacy lives on in the form of Theresa Atkinson, who has continued to produce these helpful aids based on tuition she received.”
Some of the mats have been created with scenes such as outer space or under the sea and feature elements that move.
Phoenix Day Care, a not-for-profit company, was started by friends Kelly Tatt, Julie Hyman and Michelle Cassidy six years ago and offers day care for adults.
The centre was closed due to the pandemic but reopened in September.
Ms Tatt said it had been a difficult two years due to lockdowns and they were unable to claim any grant funding due to their “unrateable” status, but she was looking to the future.
She added: “We have everybody back that is coming back and slowly we’re getting back to normal and it would be great to set up a workshop making the mats for our clients as it would be a great activity.”