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Pop-up pub to open for people with dementia in Salford

A community centre is being transformed into a traditional pub for the day as part of efforts to help people living with dementia.

A pop-up reminiscence room, designed to look like an old pub, is beingset up in the garden of Swinton’s Humphrey Booth Resource Centre for the summer community day.

The event, on Monday August 8, has been organised by the University of Salford’s Institute of Dementia, which brings together innovative research to find ways of positively helping people live with the condition, and has been funded by the Booth Charities.

The ‘pub’ comes complete with old beer adverts, games such as dominos and darts, a DJ playing a selection of music from the ’50s to the ’70s, and live entertainers.

It has been set up to create a safe haven where people living with dementia can reminisce, and people who have recently been diagnosed with the condition, along with their carers, are particularly being encouraged to come to the event.

Dr Chris Pickford, a researcher from the University, will be on hand to provide advice about how smartphones can be used in simple ways to help people with the condition, such as to set regular reminders or to help locate people who may be in danger of wandering off.

The pop up pub was created by RemPods, which received funding from Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden following a pitch on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den programme.

Prof Anthea Innes, Coles-Medlock Director of the Salford Institute for Dementia, said: “Coming to an event like this can feel quite daunting, particularly for a new care supporter or somebody who has only recently been diagnosed with dementia, so we wanted to create an atmosphere where people can immediately feel at home.

“A lot of people associate pubs with times in their lives where they could meet their friends and relax, which is exactly the kind of environment we’re trying to establish.

“Sadly, people living with dementia often feel excluded from being able to participate in normal everyday activities, but through our community work we’re trying to encourage them come together, meet other people with the condition, and find out about the support that’s available to enable them to live well with dementia.”

Hazel Blears, former MP for Salford and supporter of the Institute of Dementia, said: “Creating a reminder of happy times is a great way to bring people living with dementia together with friends and family.

“My mum and dad enjoyed having a drink and a dance together even when mum’s dementia made it hard for her to remember the details of her daily life. The Humphrey Booth Charity has been so generous in supporting excellent dementia care in Salford and this fabulous event is another example of their generosity and commitment. Cheers to everyone involved!”

Lynda Needham, the Chief Executive of Booth Charities, said: “When making grants for the benefit of Salford inhabitants, the distributors of the Booth Charities place a high value on community projects, and aim to support the vulnerable and their carers.

“The programme of events being held at the Humphrey Booth Resource Centre and funded by Booth, aim to break down isolation and are a prime example of what is being achieved by agencies working together with the community in Salford.

Our thanks go to the excellent team of professionals and volunteers who deliver the inclusive and welcoming service at the Centre.”

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.