A Christmas ‘memory’ tree proved so popular for Gloucestershire homecare provider DoCare it planted a seed for a permanent feature.
Now, in time for National Dementia Awareness Week (May 15-20), the company has created a memory tree at its Stroud headquarters, where people can hang messages to loved ones as a way of remembering them.
Una Mills, director at DoCare, said: “This year for the first time we did something different with our office Christmas tree, and turned it into a ‘memory’ tree. Our staff and their families were invited to hang up a little card with a message for a loved one who had passed away.
“The idea worked well, and was very popular. We had messages left for parents and grandparents, and some children also wrote messages; it was very touching.
“Of course, we eventually had to take the Christmas tree down, but we wanted to keep the cards that had been hung on it. And it gave us the idea to have a permanent place for people to leave a memory or a message.”
DoCare now has a permanent ‘tree’ in the office. The cards left on the Christmas tree have been rehung, and staff, clients and their families are being invited to add more cards if they wish.
The tree has been made ready for National Dementia Awareness Week as a way of highlighting the work that the Alzheimer’s Society does to unite people in the fight against dementia, and ultimately find a cure. Many DoCare clients live with dementia, and the company’s support workers undergo specialist training to enable them to provide a high level of care.