Wimborne club for people with dementia urgently seeks new home

A Wimborne club for people with dementia that provides respite to caregivers is urgently seeking a new home after being given notice to leave the Hanham Centre by the end of October.

The Hanham Centre in WimborneWimborne Respite Club is among a number of organisations that have been told by the Dorset County Council that they will no longer be able to rent space in the Hanham Centre, following council plans to convert the lounge area into office space.

Peter Scarlett, Estates and Assets Service Manager at Dorset County Council, said: “Going forwards, the County Council now needs to adapt that space. We are proposing to convert it into office accommodation because we have a requirement for more offices in Wimborne, to replace a building which is obsolete to run and which we are vacating.

“As a consequence we are converting part of the Hanham Centre into office space, so we will no longer have the lounge area which is used by these organisations from time to time.”

Wimborne Respite Club is one of several organisations faced with finding a new home. Run weekly by local charity Prama, the club provides care and activities for people with dementia, giving caregivers some time to themselves and relief from caregiving. The club uses a number of large specialist lounge chairs at the Hanham Centre for chair-based exercises and rest, which the Dorset County Council have donated to the group to take on to their next home.

However, finding a new location that is also able to accept the chairs has proven to be a problem for the club – which is now in danger of closing at the end of the month.

“The people that work there don’t want it to close and the people that attend and their loved ones don’t want it to close.”

Katrina Keeling, Fundraising and Communications Manager at Pramacare, said: “If they do have any availability they can’t take the chairs, or that they’ve got other weekend bookings.

“As time goes on, we are looking more and more at care home lounges and day centres to see if we can get into those. As these are purpose built facilities that have already got high backed chairs, or if they don’t they’d be keen to have the ones we use.

“The people that work there don’t want it to close and the people that attend and their loved ones don’t want it to close. It will close if we can’t find anywhere, but we will carry on looking for somewhere and hopefully reopen it in the future.”

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