Belong Macclesfield, the dementia care specialist, has welcomed spring with its residents, thanks to the support of local businesses and their help with seasonal projects which are set to enhance the wellbeing of the local community.
Taking advantage of glorious sunshine, Belong colleagues were joined by 11 staff from facilities management specialists, Sodexo, based at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield Campus. The volunteers lent their gardening, DIY and painting skills to spruce up the Upton Priory village’s grounds for Belong’s residents, apartment tenants and visitors to enjoy.
Together, the team weeded and planted the grounds, then painted the fence, before constructing houses for birds and bugs, feeders for bees and butterflies and sowed wildflowers, in a bid to encourage more wildlife, all whilst residents enjoyed the bustling outdoor activity from their windows.
Meanwhile, inside the village, Belong colleagues and residents made bird cake and held talks on the importance of nature to climate change. After a round of hard-earned refreshments for the volunteers, supplied by the on-site Bistro, the day culminated with the judging of a poster competition to promote World Earth Day.
In another project, Belong worked with its older people and those living with dementia to create special gifts for pre-school students at nearby St. Alban’s Catholic Primary School: a ‘Hello Spring’ book comprising decorated poems, along with an inspiring painting of flowers to mark the beginning of the new season. In return, the school’s own spring art book with children’s creations proved a hit as residents enjoyed reminiscing about their schooldays and sharing memories of picking bluebells.
Gina Titley, experience coordinator at Belong Macclesfield, explains the thinking behind the initiatives: “We wanted to involve the community as much as possible in our spring activity plans and give everyone something to smile about. Nature has such a positive influence on our wellbeing, as does working with others, and so we invited those around us so everyone could benefit.
“We’re ever so grateful to Sodexo for giving their time, effort and donations toward the gardening project to help make a difference on World Earth Day — they worked incredibly hard. And, our partnership with St. Alban’s school continues to prove the value of intergenerational relationships. When restrictions are lifted, we look forward to welcoming our friends and the rest of the Macclesfield community to the village for face-to-face visits with our residents again.”