Great Torrington’s Dementia Friendly Community working group were delighted to be able to launch Great Torrington’s Silent Space on Tuesday 26th October 2021 in the Secret Memorial Garden behind the Castle Hill building in Sydney House Car Park.
The Silent Space Project is a national initiative to create areas where people can find peace and tranquillity in natural settings, to switch off from technology, avoid talking loudly or be silent and enjoy nature: https://silentspace.org.uk/ . The idea for a Dementia Friendly Silent Space was put forward by Chris Porter, one of the founding members of the Dementia Friendly Community working group following a similar project her daughter worked on as part of her PhD. Chris and the working group thought having a Silent Space specifically for people living with dementia would be a great asset to the town as it works towards becoming dementia friendly. Very sadly Chris passed away suddenly last year so the work she did initially with this this project was put on hold temporarily and was recently completed by the Dementia Friendly Community working group.
At the launch the Chair of the working group, Cllr Di Davey, welcomed Liz Ware, Founder of the Silent Space Project, Cllr Doug Smith, Mayor of Great Torrington and Colin Porter, Chris’s husband who helped the Mayor unveil the new signage for the space. The garden will be designated a Silent Space on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between the hours of 1:30 and 3:30pm each week.
The working group would like to thank everyone involved with making this launch possible, including the Torrington and District Community Development Trust who have kindly allowed us to use the Secret Memorial Garden for the Silent Space, their volunteers who maintain the garden so beautifully and Roger Davies for creating the new sign. The Dementia Friendly Community working group hopes that by designating the Secret Memorial Garden as a Silent Space on specific days, people living with dementia and their carers will find respite from the busy world we live in.