Reminiscence room offers a trip down memory lane

Wednesday 28 August 2013 from 2.30pm
Emily Court, Barn End Lane, Wilmington, Dartford DA2 7QL

Residents at an extra care housing development in Dartford will take a step back in time with the launch of a reminiscence room.

A large corner of the activity room at Emily Court, a Housing 21 scheme, has been transformed into an appropriately decorated room from the 1970s, where the residents can read magazines and find authentic
objects from the era. These include original annuals of The Wombles and Jackie, a Polaroid camera, cooking utensils, knitting patterns, tea sets and wall pictures. Even the wallpaper is original.

The room is the brainchild of the court manager, Debbie Rye, who says: “It is well recognised that reminiscence rooms can help people with memory problems. Seeing familiar styles and items from a certain
period helps trigger fond memories from the past, which can also be quite calming.

“Even for those without memory problems, taking a step back in time can spark interesting topics of conversation.”

A party is planned to launch the new facility, when Emily Court residents and staff will be joined by guests from Housing 21, Kent County Council, Dartford Borough Council and residents from other nearby
sheltered housing schemes and nursing homes. An Abba tribute band will also be entertaining the guests.

Debbie’s favourite item in the room is the dining table and chairs. She did a lot of searching before fining it on eBay with an asking price of £100.00. However, when she contacted the seller and explained
what she was doing, they replied to say they’d be happy to donate it for nothing.

The room is to be named in memory of Debbie’s mother, Patricia Shuter, who provided a lot of support to the court through raffles and tombolas. Proceeds from the sale of her extensive clothes collection has
been used to purchase items for the project.

Emily Court, which opened in 2009, provides 40 apartments for independent living and is one of nine extra care schemes owned and managed by Housing 21 in Kent.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the event and there will be an opportunity for photographs at 2.30pm.