RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch gets off to a flying start at Bury St Edmunds day club

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Club members at Care UK’s Davers Club in Bury St Edmunds have their binoculars at the ready and their bird feeders filled as they prepare to take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January.

They have been making their own bird feeders and decorating bird boxes, as well as setting up a bird table and bird bath in the Club’s garden, which is adjacent to the Davers Court care home on Shakers Lane.

Known as the largest wildlife survey in the world, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch encourages people throughout the UK to take a closer look at the nature on their doorsteps by counting the different birds which visit their garden in any one hour over the weekend of 24th and 25th January. Any non-bird species such as badgers and hedgehogs are also recorded.

Club manager, Sue Atkins, explained why Davers Club is one of several Care UK day clubs and care homes taking part in this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Sue said: “It is very beneficial for older people, particularly those living with dementia, to connect with the outdoors and take the time to observe birds and wildlife.

“Birdwatching is an enjoyable, calming, shared interest that can help combat feelings of isolation and can lower anxiety. The colourful sights and sounds of birds also provide sensory stimulation and can be a valuable reminiscence activity.”

As well as taking part in the national survey, Davers Club is holding a community open day event on Tuesday 27th January (11am - 3pm) where visitors can join in the birdwatch as well as take part in a bird-themed craft competition with the opportunity to win a bird bath for their own garden. A buffet lunch and musical entertainment will be provided.

Family carers can get advice and support on how to incorporate practical activities such as bird watching into their daily routines by visiting www.careuk.com and requesting or downloading copies of Care UK’s two free guides: ‘As Easy as ABC’ – a guide to activity based care – and ‘Listen, Talk, Connect’ – which helps overcome the challenges of connecting and communicating with loved ones who are living with dementia.

For more information on Davers Club and about their open day on Tuesday 27th January please call the manager Sue Atkins on 01284 748419.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch has taken place annually over the last 35 years, with the information collected each year helping the RSPB form a picture of bird populations across the country and highlighting any trends or changes. For more information, please go to www.rspb.org.uk.

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