Washington Lodge - News in brief - July 2017

Bike-a-thon boost for Washington dementia group

A fundraising push by staff at Washington Lodge has brought smiles to a local dementia support group.

Washington Lodge manager June Smith presented a cheque for £374.80 to Action on Dementia Sunderland.

Staff raised the money during the Qualia Bike-a-thon, when they were sponsored for pedalling an incredible combined distance of 271 miles in one week – almost the same distance as Washington to London!

Receiving the cheque was Ernie Thompson, chairman of Action on Dementia Sunderland, alongside members Bill Kay, Dorothy Austin, John Martin and Jenny Smith. John’s wife and Jenny’s husband are both residents at Washington Lodge.

Action on Dementia Sunderland is a voluntary organisation that provides support to people in Sunderland who have dementia, as well as their families, carers and friends. http://actionondementiasunderland.co.uk/

“Action on Dementia Sunderland provides wonderful support for people in the Sunderland area affected by dementia,” says June.

“We’ve developed a great relationship with Action on Dementia Sunderland, and we’re glad we can support it in any way we can.

“It was a brilliant effort from the staff members who took part in the Bike-a-thon, and we’d like to say a big thank you to all those who donated so generously.”

The Qualia Bike-a-thon was held in May to celebrate Dementia Awareness Week and to raise funds for deserving local causes.

Washington residents dive into virtual world

Residents at Washington Lodge have taken the plunge into a virtual undersea world of wonder.

They donned a VR headset and were taken on a magical and colourful journey under the ocean waves.

Administrator Jemma Metcalf says: “A lot of studies have gone into VR headsets and they are proven to help people who have dementia go back to a happier time, and to help jog their memories.

“When we gave one of our residents the underwater scene she said she felt ‘like she was on top of the world’ and that it was ‘an experience she would never forget’.

“One of our gentleman residents who has dementia and challenging behaviour had a turn and smiled the whole time, saying he ‘could see fishes in the water’.

“Another one of our residents who does not communicate smiled the whole time we had the underwater scene on with the dolphins and was moving his head to see around.”

The VR goggles drew such a positive response from residents that staff are looking forward to using them regularly.

The virtual reality tours will complement Washington Lodge’s varied programme of events aimed at enhancing health, happiness and well-being.

Washington Lodge remembers brave Bradley

Staff at Washington Lodge pulled on their team colours to pay tribute to brave Bradley Lowery.

Sunderland and Newcastle fans stood united together to raise money in memory of six-year-old local lad Bradley, who lost his courageous battle against cancer in July.

Staff also released blue balloons as a poignant tribute to Sunderland fan Bradley, who touched the hearts of the nation with his bravery and the friendship he developed with former Mackems striker Jermain Defoe.

Those taking part raised £15 for the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which aims to support others diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a rare type of cancer that affects mostly babies and young children.

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