The Lord Mayor opens first Dementia Friendly garden

 

Please have a look at the slideshow at the top of the page

I arrived at Rothwell’s Springhead Park for the opening of the first Dementia Friendly garden. Of course it was chucking it down, this did not dampen the spirit of about 200 people gathered to see the opening of the garden by the Lord and Lady Mayoress later.

Many people took refuge in the Marquee, while others managed a walk in the gardens, many under umbrellas.

 

Peter Smith had a lot to do with the new Dementia Friendly Garden who we all know for many Memory Cafés in South Leeds and beyond. Like Cop Shop, Elland Road, Paranby Pals, which I opened with him (my only claim to fame). I believe 3 now in Rothwell inc Tea Cosy, where it all began all those years ago. Peter and his wife travel to London soon to the Queen’s Garden Party and he also recently received the BEM for his volunteer and charity work. Well done Peter and wife Liz.

I had a walk with Sarah, of Older Peoples Alliance around the lovely park. Was looking for the aviary, Peter pointed it out to me. The Aviary was part of the refurbishment of the garden. I noticed budgies and other birds on perches and hens down at ground level. There was an opening at the back of the Aviary so the hens could shelter from the rain.

I met up with a few faces, Tim, Jayne from visits to Cop Shop memory café. My Psychiatrist Dr Lance Middleton got an invite by Peter. The two clowns keeping the young children happy and later we had a choir. Stalls of various types, owls seemed popular. Living at Home Scheme and a welcome stall giving out bucks fizz and more.

There was plenty of food and drinks in the marquee which I’m sure people took advantage of. Peter continued with his wife Liz, meeting people as they arrived on this very damp afternoon.

Around 2pm the Lord and Lady Mayoress (Gerry and Lynne) arrived to officially open the Dementia Friendly Garden. They remembered me from my visit the the Civic Hall for afternoon tea, two weeks ago, and shook hands.

 

This event will be one of their last as Lord and Lady Mayoress as they have completed their year in their wonderful jobs. Cllr Jane Dawson, takes over as the new Lady Mayoress, and no as someone said, not Leanne Batasby from Corrie.

I finally had a walk to the Black Bull pub, where I had a pint and mucky fat and bread before my taxi came to get me home.

Peter says

“What a fantastic day at the opening of Rothwell’s Dementia Friendly Garden. So many people turned up in the rain to see the opening. It was estimated, not by me, that at one time there were around 150 people present.

So many to thank, those who turned up today, the agencies and organisations, the professionals including NHS Consultants, board members of Leeds Hospital Trust, CCG’s, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Carers Leeds, Connect For Health, Rothwell Live At Home, Leeds Parks and Countryside, The Giving Voice Choir, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, and many, many more.

Special thanks to The Pavilion Café who supplied the afternoon tea, and to the gardeners at the park who have worked so hard on the garden. Finally a massive thank you to my wife Liz, who has put up with all the problems, moods, and issues I have had over the past few months in putting this together.

Very proud to have Liz as my wife and love her to bits. (don’t tell her I said that). Finally a big thank you to my mum, sadly she had dementia and passed away in 2004, but her dementia set me on my dementia journey.”

 

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