Dementia friendly award for Fife eco centre

Staff, volunteers, carers and councillors gather for Dementia Friendly award presentation ceremony
Staff, volunteers, carers and councillors gather for Dementia Friendly award presentation ceremony

Kinghorn’s popular Ecology Centre has become one of the first facilities in Fife to be awarded dementia friendly status.

Its specially adapted Tool Shed sessions for people in the early stages of dementia, along with other activities for people with the condition and their carers every Thursday, as well as enhanced signage and physical spaces have led Fife Council to recognise it for an award.

And last Thursday councillors, staff, volunteers and carers gathered for a special lunch and presentation ceremony.

Funding from the Life Changes Trust last summer led the centre to expand activities such as walking, gardening, birdwatching and serving in the kitchen to people suffering from memory loss.

These are in addition to its established Tool Shed sessions which offer volunteers with dementia the opportunity to help clean and repair old and disused tools, machinery and sewing machines which are recycled and put to use either locally or overseas in places such as Greece and Malawi.

They are closely supervised by specially trained members of staff.

The sessions proved so successful that they were extended to allow more people to participate, and they have proved very beneficial to both the volunteers and their carers.

And as part of the sessions volunteers and their carers are also invited to take part in a shared lunch.

Over the last two years Fife Council has worked with Alzheimer Scotland supporting Glenrothes and the surrounding area to become Dementia Friendly. This involved approaching local businesses and groups in a process which involves assessing physical spaces for their signage and way finding and offering dementia friends training.

The project was very successful and Fife Council is extending it across the Kingdom.

The Ecology Centre is one of the first recipients outwith Glenrothes to be awarded the accreditation.

Ruth McCabe from Fife Council presented the certificate, saying: “The centre showed exceptional initiative and worked with the team at the dementia services development centre at Stirling University to make sure their physical space was dementia friendly.

“Staff have been trained as dementia friends which means they take a very person centred approach with everyone who visits. This ensures that everyone feels comfortable and cared for in the centre.”

David Stockwell, general manager at The Ecology Centre said: “Everyone here is very proud to be recognised as a dementia friendly destination. We have worked hard over the last couple of years to make our beautiful lochside location as welcoming an environment as possible, and every Thursday we run a special programme of activities and opportunities specifically designed for people living with dementia.”

For more information on the dementia friendly services contact the centre on 01592 891567 or visit www.theecologycentre.org.