Abbeyfield Week celebrations grace St Albans town centre

12/06/2015

Flamenco shows, teddy bears picnics, balloon races, classic car displays and choir performances all featured in a week of celebrations to mark Abbeyfield's 59th birthday.

As part of the fun, staff and volunteers from one of Abbeyfield’s local care homes, Grace Muriel House, ran a market stall in St Albans' town centre from 10am onwards on June 10. They told members of the public about Abbeyfield and how it works to alleviate loneliness in the older community. Visitors to the stand also had the chance to enter into a prize draw for a hamper packed full of retro sweets.

But the celebrations didn’t stop there. On June 11, from 2pm until 4pm, Abbeyfield’s head office in Bricket Road welcomed residents, staff and volunteers from its nearby homes and houses for afternoon tea. Joining them was St Albans Deputy Mayor Gill Clark, who also helped to create a dementia ‘fidget’ blanket. These are small blankets with attachments such as zips, bells and different textured materials which provide sensory stimulation for people living with dementia, helping to keep hands busy and so reducing agitation.

 Albans Deputy Mayor, Gill Clark, and Abbeyfield Head of Volunteering, Tracey Avison, work together on a dementia ‘fidget’ blanket

Abbeyfield’s Chief Executive, Natasha Singarayer said: “Abbeyfield Week is about celebrating the people who live with us, but also inviting older people in the local community to come along and join in the activities. It’s not just about supporting older people during this week, but every week of the year through initiatives like Sharing Sundays. We offer company and companionship, alleviating isolation amongst older people, true to our founder Richard Carr-Gomm’s principles when he created the charity in 1956.”

Back to news