Memory cabinets help lead the way

One of the new memory cabinets at Resthaven on Burns.

A community project with distinctly Cambridge roots is helping Resthaven on Burns residents feel more at home.

Each resident living with dementia or memory loss has been gifted a handcrafted memory cabinet in which to display personal keepsakes, such as photographs, trophies and the like.  The cabinet filled with their special momentos is attached to the wall by their room, making it easier for them to navigate the hallway and find the way back to their own room.

Cambridge Resthaven general manager Rachel Jones said the cabinets are bringing joy to the men and women living at the complex.  “Looking at their favourite keepsakes in the cabinet is a walk down memory lane, sparking conversations and reminiscing, and helping them recognise their room.”

Materials and labour for the project has come from the community.  The cabinets are made from local macrocarpa timber donated by Lorraine and Murray Hargreaves.  Mrs Hargreaves works in the diversional therapy team at Cambridge Resthaven, and the timber was harvested from trees that have been growing on the Hargreaves’ farm for more than 70 years.  The Perspex front of the cabinets was donated by Opal Glass.

The 20 cabinets were designed and built locally by Cambridge Menzshed members, with leader Dave Callaghan spending three months on the project.

Mrs Jones said: “This has been an ambitious project and we want to thank all those who contributed. The finished cabinets look fantastic. They are providing enjoyment for our residents every day, and we are so grateful to all those who helped including the Hargreaves, Opal Glass, Dave Callaghan, Allen Cartwright, Ray Killip, the Cambridge Menzshed, Eric Hill, Friends of Resthaven, and the Resthaven Foundation.”

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