At a gathering on Wednesday afternoon, the schoolchildren chatted with their newfound elderly friends about how times have changed at school and in Belper since the residents were as young as the pupils. The schoolchildren also presented examples of recent classwork they were particularly proud of.

Robertson organised the trip as we are currently building the state-of-the-art Ada Belfield Centre and Belper Library for Derbyshire City Council. The new home will feature 40 private rooms and is being built to the latest dementia-friendly standards.

We wanted to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia, which takes place on Saturday.

Rebecca Blow, design manager of the new development for Robertson Yorkshire and East Midlands, said: “We really wanted to bring the schoolchildren in to meet with the residents of Ada Belfield as part of our inclusiveness and community engagement efforts. Everyone shared in their love of Belper as a place to live – little did we know just how brilliant the kids would be!

“There was lots of laughter and lots of new friendships formed; it was a really wonderful way to spend an afternoon. We really value getting involved in the community and our team have been made to feel really welcome in Belper.”

Belper Historian Adrian Farmer talked to the residents and children about key events in Belper’s history, including coronations, marching bands and carnivals. He also shared images of classrooms from the time when Ada Belfield’s residents would have been at school, with the St John’s Primary cohort sharing photos of their current classrooms.

A team from Belper Library, which will move to the new site from its current Bridge Street location, also showed how the library has changed over the years, what the residents can expect from the new library, and even shared how the system to borrow books is radically different to how it used to be.

The new care home and library is being built on the former Thornton’s factory site in Derwent Street and is due to complete in January 2020.

 

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