Hitchin's Kingfisher Club for people with dementia relaunched at new base

PUBLISHED: 16:52 08 October 2017

Kingfisher Club member Geoff Croft, his wife and carer Rosemary Croft and club member's son Robert Worbey enjoy the new Hitchin location at Nightingale House Day Centre. Picture: Max Weir

Kingfisher Club member Geoff Croft, his wife and carer Rosemary Croft and club member's son Robert Worbey enjoy the new Hitchin location at Nightingale House Day Centre. Picture: Max Weir

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A housing association's club for people living with dementia has relaunched at a new base in Hitchin.

Howard Cottage Housing Association staff Vicky Wells, Rachel Horne, Helen Cairns and Tracey Maynard at the launch of the new Kingfisher Club Hitchin location at Nightingale House Day Centre. Picture: Max WeirHoward Cottage Housing Association staff Vicky Wells, Rachel Horne, Helen Cairns and Tracey Maynard at the launch of the new Kingfisher Club Hitchin location at Nightingale House Day Centre. Picture: Max Weir

The Kingfisher Club is run weekly in Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock by Howard Cottage Housing Association, based in Letchworth’s Norton Way North – and the Hitchin group is now based at Nightingale House Day Centre off Nightingale Road.

Howard Cottage chief executive John Welch said: “There’s a growing demand for support for local people with low to moderate dementia, and of course for their carers.

“We’re helping to address those support needs through our three weekly Kingfisher Clubs in Hitchin, Letchworth and Baldock.

“Partnerships have always been an important part of our approach, so we are delighted to have formed a highly productive new partnership with Hitchin’s Nightingale House Day Centre.”

Nightingale House Day Centre, opposite Bancroft Gardens, is owned and run by Herts County Council and serves people with age-related conditions, physical disabilities, and mental health needs.

Howard Cottage’s community investment manager Helen Cairns said the new venue is dementia-friendly and very suitable for Kingfisher Club members.

She said: “The facilities are ideal for our members, who’ll be able to relax in the centre’s sensory room or on the comfortable seating, take part in fun activities like drawing or chair yoga, spend time in the garden or use one of the many breakout rooms. The centre also has its own chef.

“I’m certain that, like all great partnerships, this one will be mutually beneficial for Howard Cottage and Nightingale House, and both teams are looking forward to working together.

“We’ll definitely be inviting day centre participants along to our musical activities, and I’m sure that some of our members will be keen to take advantage of the hairdressing and chiropody services on offer.”

Nightingale House assistant manager Caroline Stukins said she and the team there were looking forward to building a strong partnership with Howard Cottage in years to come.

Kingfisher Club member Geoff Croft said: “I like coming because I can have a relaxed time and talk to other people – and it gives my wife some time to herself.”

Geoff’s wife and carer Rosemary added: “The Kingfisher Club is an excellent place for people like Geoff. I’m really grateful that he is picked up and brought home again.”

Hitchin’s Kingfisher Club runs from 10am to 3pm every Tuesday. It costs £15 to attend and the price includes all activities, refreshments and a two-course meal.

To find out more, give Helen Cairns a call on 01462 683307.

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