Amateur astronomers at Belong Crewe have been exploring the wonders of the universe from the comfort of their care village – all thanks to the generosity of local people. The launch of the dementia care specialist’s Astronomy Club was made possible after the people of Crewe donated a telescope and binoculars to the worthy cause.
The new club aims to ignite Belong residents’ senses and indulge their space exploration ambitions through stargazing, arts and crafts, and virtual tours at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre to visit renowned landmark, The Lovell Telescope. To encourage reminiscence – a proven approach in helping to slow the progression of dementia – residents also enjoy NASA documentaries, topical discussions and sharing personal memories, transporting them back to the space race era.
Jess Butler, experience coordinator at Belong Crewe, provides more detail: “Engaging our residents in activities that inspire their interests is key to our ethos at Belong. When we found out a number of them were keen astronomy enthusiasts, we set to work planning an Astronomy Club and asked the people of Crewe for their help.”
To raise funds for the project, last year, residents at the CQC outstanding-rated care village on Brookhouse Drive posed as real-life models to recreate some of the world’s most iconic portraits for a calendar, including works by Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Van Gogh. When news of their efforts spread, Belong colleagues and residents were overjoyed as a high-spec telescope and binoculars were donated by members of the public, launching the project to success.
Expressing her appreciation, Kathryn Farmer, general manager at Belong Crewe, added: “Our Astronomy Club has got off to a great start and it’s down to the generosity of our community that our residents have the tools to enjoy learning about outer space. For that, we are grateful to everyone who donated – their kindness is truly out of this world.”