AN OLDER people’s centre has been reopened following a £40,000 transformation of the facility.

Bagshot’s Windle Valley Centre, which provides a range of activities and services for older residents, is now a dementia-friendly building following the cash-injection.

Surrey Heath Borough Council chief executive Karen Whelan, and deputy mayor Cllr Dan Adams, cut the ribbon on the refurbished centre at a ceremony on Thursday March 8, in Park Street.

The council worked on the refurbishment with design company Access 21, who specialise in interior design for the care sector and also in dementia design, having been trained by the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University.

This ensured that the furniture, materials and colour schemes used in the refurbishment were dementia-friendly and specially designed for the care setting, as well as being modern.

Ms Whelan said: “We are dedicated to offering the best services to all sectors of the community, and this fantastic dementia-friendly refurbishment of our Windle Valley Centre reinforces our commitment to our older residents.

“It was so lovely to have the opportunity to chat to the wonderful people who use the centre, and hear how they have made new friendships and really enjoy the time they spend at Windle Valley. We all had a delightful singalong too. I’m very proud the council is supporting such a positive happy place.”

One regular visitor to the centre, Brenda, made a impromptu speech about how the centre has brought her so much joy and has greatly improved her zest for life.

Centre manager Louise Aartsen added: “It was a wonderful afternoon. The refurbishment has been a huge success - everyone likes the light and airy atmosphere, which we have balanced with comfort and practicality.

“It’s a great springboard for the service - we are introducing a Carer Respite service this year. This will assist people caring for someone at home, giving them a much-needed break when they need extra support.”

The facility will also be made available for voluntary and community organisations to hire for their own activities and events.

The centre is open on weekdays and offers a range of activities to suit all tastes and abilities, including exercise, craft and music – along with a home-cooked two course lunch. The Saturday Club for carers and the cared-for is also open from 2-5pm.

For more info contact community.services@surreyheath.gov.uk or call 01276 479185.