Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Dementia Friendly Community Group

Silent Space

Great Torrington Town Council’s Dementia Friendly Community working group has been working with the national Silent Space project (https://silentspace.org.uk/) and the Great Torrington and District Community Development Trust to create a Silent Space in Great Torrington.  This is a national project 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.

The new Silent Space is located in the Secret Memorial Garden behind the Castle Hill building in Sydney House car park.  The Secret Memorial Garden is a magical space in Great Torrington tucked away behind the town centre shops and main car park.  It was created in 2002 from an original design by Jo Winterburn as a memorial to five young boys, evacuees of the Second World War, who tragically lost their lives in a fire close by at Sydney House. In the centre of the garden is a bronze statue of a boy reading a book; a touching tribute to the boys who lost their lives. There is a central knot garden containing herbs such as marjoram, cotton lavender, sage and thyme, all planted in compartments between low box hedging.  Benches are scattered through the garden so that visitors can relax and appreciate this special oasis in the middle of the town centre.

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 Dementia Friendly Community working group hopes that by designating the Secret Memorial Garden as a Silent Space on these days, people living with dementia and their carers will find respite from the busy world we live in.

Great Torrington’s Silent Space launch

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.

Dementia Friendly Information Pack

Introduction
This information pack has been developed to help those in Great Torrington and the
surrounding area living with dementia and memory loss and their carers. It is part of
the town’s ambition to become recognised as a dementia friendly community.
The pack has been developed in partnership with local shops and organisations, the town
council, The Friends of the Great Torrington Library and people attending the Memory
Cafe.
It provides:

  • Information on local services
  • Details of resources available locally to help you live better with dementia and
  • memory loss
  • Information on shops and organisations who provide a supportive and caring place
  • to visit and can offer times to shop or visit at quieter times
  • Suggestions of ways in which you can make life easier for yourself or those you
  • care for

Who is it for?
If you are living with dementia or memory loss from other causes or if you are caring
for someone living with these conditions, we hope that the information in this pack will
make it easier to manage your life in Great Torrington.
What is a dementia friendly community?
In a dementia friendly community people have an understanding of the help people living
with dementia need, particularly the need for patience, understanding and calmness.
Shops and local organisations agree to support those living with dementia by treating
them with respect and kindness. In this pack there will be information about the
quietest time to visit shops and places in the town including the special support that
local businesses can offer.
How will I know that they will be friendly and supportive?
Look for the Forget Me Not symbol. (The Forget Me Not symbol is on the first page).
Shops and organisations who are part of the dementia friendly community will display
it so you can expect:

  • To be treated respectfully
  • To be given time to explain what you want
  • To be given time to buy what you want
  • o be helped if you forget what you want to buy or do

Best time to visit the shops
You will probably have a favourite time to shop but talking to local shop keepers it
seems that it is generally quieter in the afternoon. However, the time between 3 pm
and 4.30 pm can be busy on weekdays as the schools finish and children make their way
home. Saturday afternoons can be quiet and so a good time to visit if you prefer
shopping when it is less busy.


Parking
Remember that parking in Sydney House Car Park off South Street is free from 12
noon on Saturdays until 8:00 am on Mondays.

Dementia Friendly Community Working Group Update: 6 February 2020

Just as a reminder, our group is made up of representatives from the following organisations: Great Torrington Town Councillors and Officers, Friends of the Library, the Memory Café, Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers, TorrAGE, TTVS, Torrington Community Hospital, Castle House Care Home and Hatchmoor Nursing Home Since the group last gave an update in The Crier we have been busy with the following activities:

Dementia Friendly Window Stickers: I expect you will have seen that a number of businesses across town are proudly displaying their new Dementia Friendly window stickers. These are businesses that have staff who have become ‘Dementia Friends’ and have pledged to take actions within their business to become more dementia friendly. If your business would like to join in with this initiative, please contact Charlotte Kirby at the Town Council (details below) to book yourselves on a Dementia Awareness Session.

Information Pack: The group has finalised and started distributing this pack which contains information about local resources for people living with dementia and their carers. The feedback about the pack so far has been very positive.

Twiddle Muffs: In last month’s Crier you will have seen a request for wool and other embellishments to help with the latest Town Hall Knit & Natter project to knit Twiddle Muffs for the local care homes and people living with dementia. Thank you to everyone who has donated items for this project! The group has been storming ahead with this activity and has already produced a number of beautiful muffs which you may have seen displayed in the windows of the Town Hall recently.

Dementia Action Week: This will take place between 11th and 17th May 2020. The group is putting together a programme of events to take place in the town for people living with dementia, their families and carers and also to raise awareness about dementia amongst the wider community. Look out for more details about Dementia Action Week in future editions of The Crier.

Dementia Awareness Sessions: We have another session planned for Wednesday 26th February 2020 at 6pm in the Conservative Club on South Street. If you would like to come along to learn more about Dementia, please contact Charlotte Kirby, Assistant Town Clerk on 01805 626135 or via email: admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk to book your place.

Dementia Friendly Community Working Group Update: 10 September 2019

The Dementia Friendly Community Working Group has been busy over the summer on a number of activities in relation to becoming a Dementia Friendly Town.

Dementia Awareness Sessions: Since the working group was established last year, over 40 people have attended a dementia awareness session and are now Dementia Friends.  In addition, our local Dementia Champions have recently hosted sessions at RHS Rosemoor, Dartington Crystal, Great Torrington Heritage Museum, Great Torrington Bowling Club and Castle Gardens Surgery.  If you would like to become a Dementia Friend, keep an eye out for new Dementia Awareness Session dates in the autumn.

Information Pack: In the Autumn the group will be publishing an Information Pack containing information about local resources for people living with dementia and their carers.  

Dementia Friendly Community Window Stickers: The group will soon be issuing some of the shops and organisations in town with Dementia Friendly window stickers.  The purpose of these stickers is to show which businesses have staff who are Dementia Friends and who can offer a supportive and caring place to visit/shop in.   

Thank you:  Great Torrington Town Council would like to thank everyone involved in the Dementia Friendly Community Working Group who give their time voluntarily to help with this important initiative for the community.