Running back in time: Stockport NHS staff take on 10K to fund memory cafe’s ‘dementia pods’

Ground-breaking ‘dementia pods’ could soon be available for use in Greater Manchester thanks to the efforts of Stockport NHS staff.

Dementia pods, or reminiscence pods, are a calming new form of treatment that allow users to revisit bygone eras to encrourage memory.

And staff from the Stockport NHS Foundation Trust will hit the streets this Sunday and run 10k to raise money for this exciting new form of dementia care.

The fundraising initiative was the brainchild of Deputy Director of Nursing Tyrone Roberts, who has since recruited a number of staff to join him on the run.

The money raised from taking part in The Big Stockport 10k that takes place on World Alzheimer’s Day and will go towards reminiscence pods.

Speaking to MM, Mr Roberts said: “We’re hoping to raise the first £1,500 (enough for one pod) by Christmas.

“The ultimate plan is to have three pods and a ‘memories café’, a purpose built area set in the 1930s or 40s that all patients from any ward can use but that will cost about £10,000.”

With dementia now estimated to affect one in every four people, Mr Roberts is an advocate of reminiscence pods and has seen their impact first hand.

“I’ve recently moved to Stockport from the Wirral where we had three reminiscence pods and I saw there just how effective they can be”, Tyrone said.

“Often long term memory is the only part still intact. Patients don’t realize that they’re actually on a ward and are trying to live their normal life. Staff try to console them but often the patients don’t understand.”

“The pods calm patients down and give families a chance to reconnect with their relatives.”

For the patients, it isn’t just about being in the room, it’s about bringing back memories and finding a common interest.”

Reminiscence pods, otherwise known as RemPods, are pop up rooms, designed in the style of the 1950s, 60s and 70s with example rooms including pubs, cinemas and dance halls.

They are used to remind dementia sufferers of familiar times from their past, reassure them in times of need and stimulate cognitive function.

The pods all come with their own specialist equipment designed to evoke memories, including period-style televisions and radios.

The groundbreaking company – founded in 2009 – first came to prominence when RemPod creator Richard Earnest appeared on Dragon’s Den.

Mr Earnest received the backing of Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones, worth a combined total of £100,000 and now supplies RemPods to NHS trusts and care homes around the nation.

The Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees Stepping Hill Hospital was earlier this month named one the UK’s top 100 Healthcare Employers.

At the time of writing, the JustGiving page ( amassed over £600, roughly 40% of the initial £1500 target.

The Big Stockport 10k will begin at 9am, starting and ending at St Petersgate in the town centre.

Main image courtesy of Meritxell Garcia, with thanks.

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