Dominoes, quizzes and crosswords tackling loneliness in Redcar as part of social concept

-Credit: (Image: Stuart Boulton)
-Credit: (Image: Stuart Boulton)

A unique community-based day centre in the Redcar and Cleveland area, designed to combat social isolation, is expanding due to high demand.

The 'Safe Place' initiative, launched by Caremark Redcar and Cleveland, originally brought together customers and staff of the homecare company for social activities at Redcar Rugby Club every Tuesday. However, to meet increasing demand, including from non-Caremark customers, the service now also operates on Wednesdays, with plans to add more days and possibly evenings.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday, a dedicated team from Caremark Redcar and Cleveland organises various activities for participants, such as dominoes, quizzes, crosswords, arts and crafts, and exercise. Dogs from Caremark Redcar and Cleveland's Animal Assisted Therapy Service also attend weekly to provide canine therapy.

Michelle Jackson, managing director of Caremark Redcar and Cleveland, expressed her delight at being able to extend the Safe Place initiative. She emphasised that it's not just a typical day centre, but a place where people actively participate in activities and interact with others, building friendships and benefiting from regular social interaction.

John Laing, a regular patron of Safe Place, expressed: "Without Safe Place I would be stuck at home by myself, so it has made a massive difference to my life. I have met lots of new people and it's something I look forward to each week."

Dora, another beneficiary of the service, enjoys playing dominoes with her newfound friends at Safe Place. She said: "I love coming here and chatting with the customers and staff and being able to feed the dogs." Another customer, Dennis, shared his sentiments: "I look forward to coming!"

Safe Place is open to Caremark's customers and individuals assessed by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Adult Social Care Team. Private paying customers are also welcome. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Caremark initially on 01287 634706 or email Transport can also be provided to and from the rugby club.

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