Cambridge care home residents ‘seize the clay’ for dementia

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A care home in Cambridge has been supporting those living with dementia by revisiting traditional hobbies.

Residents at Care UK’s Heathlands House, on Bullen Close, have been stepping back in time to enjoy pottery making as part of a nationwide initiative – Long Lost Hobbies

The ‘Long Lost Hobbies’ initiative sees residents in Care UK homes across the country share their favourite hobbies after a national survey found 77% of adults feel technology is the cause of traditional skills being lost, including flower arranging, knitting and woodworking.

Those living at Heathlands House have enjoyed a dementia pottery workshop led by local charity, Arts and Minds, where they made their very own clay pots which were then glazed and professionally fired.

Arts and Minds provides creative activities to support positive mental wellbeing, and its sessions allow older people living with the condition to connect with others, express their emotions and enjoy a sense of accomplishment through arts and crafts. 

Dr Emily Bradfield, Charity Director at Arts and Minds, said: “We had a great time working with Heathlands House to launch its first dementia pottery session for residents.

“Creative activities have proven to be very beneficial in supporting those living with a wide variety of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, and for people living with dementia and other conditions. The arts offer a person a way to express themselves, while also being relaxing. The social aspect is an integral element of our programmes, enabling people to chat and create together.

“We are very much looking forward to hosting future sessions at Heathlands House and creating more incredible works of art with residents!” 

Sharlene van Tonder, Home Manager at Heathlands House said: “We had a fantastic time taking part in the dementia pottery workshop here at Heathlands House.

“For those living with dementia, revisiting a past hobby, such as pottery making, can help bring back memories, as well as providing an enjoyable way to connect with others through creativity. These positive feelings gained from revisiting fond memories can help decrease stress, reduce agitation, and provide a feeling of success and confidence when residents see their finished creations. 

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team at Arts and Minds for leading the session. Judging by the smiles on everyone’s faces, this will be the first of many!”

For top tips on how you and your loved ones can revisit forgotten pastimes or discover new ones, please visit:

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, Heathlands House incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities both indoors and out. The layout of the building has been configured into a series of individual suites, each having a dedicated lounge and dining room to help facilitate the creation of close-knit communities.

To find out more about the home, contact Customer Relations Manager at Heathlands House, Tanya Jackson-Turner, on tanya.jackson-turner@careukcom, call 01223 631945, or visit 

Open to new residents

442 Bullen Close, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 8YU

Heathlands House

Heathlands House

CQC Rating: Inspected but not rated
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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