ALL SEWN UP: Members of the volunteer fiddle mat sewing group meet weekly at Teesdale YMCA, in Galgate, Barnard Castle.
ALL SEWN UP: Members of the volunteer fiddle mat sewing group meet weekly at Teesdale YMCA, in Galgate, Barnard Castle.

DOZENS of “fiddle mats” which provide comfort to those living with dementia have been delivered to residents at a Barnard Castle care home – and more are on the way to help others in the town.

The mats, made from donated pieces of material, help soothe the agitated fidgeting of people with dementia.

A group of volunteers meets weekly at the YMCA base, in Galgate, to produce the fiddle mats.

At the last meeting of the Barnard Castle Dementia Friendly Community Group, it was reported that 30 completed mats had been presented for residents’ use at the town’s Manor House care home.

Dementia group chairman Ian Kirkbride said: “The residents were very pleased with their gifts.

“Some were unsure about whether they could really keep them and some were very keen to begin exploring the activities.

“It will take time for them to be fully integrated into activities, but Catherine (Howard, lifestyle co-ordinator at the Manor House) plans to do some one-to-one work with them and we will offer to support this.”

Sam Turner

Mr Kirkbride said since the group meeting, Ms Howard had been in touch with a progress report in which she said the presentation of the fiddle mats “went down a storm” with residents.

“Not all residents will use then fiddle mats – it does depend on the kind of dementia they have,” she added.

“I have put ten mats into rooms where I know they will be used. One resident is adamant the mat is not hers, but I keep putting it in her room and she has now kept it.”

The fiddle mats sewing group continues to meet on a Friday at the YMCA, in Galgate, between 2pm and 4pm.

Mr Kirkbride said the next batch of completed mats will be donated to the Beaconsfield care home.

For more details about the fiddle mats sewing project, contact Lesley Taylor, at Teesdale YMCA, on 01833 695780 or 07813 001108.