A TEAM of volunteers from Sellafield Ltd’s Warrington offices in Birchwood took up the challenge to transform the dementia ward garden at Warrington Hospital.

More than 20 people from the company and young people from Cheshire Youth Service took on some much-needed renovation work on Friday.

The team, more used to delivering complex nuclear projects for the Sellafield site in Cumbria, took on a number of activities within their outdoor space to provide a much needed outdoor provision for the patients and their families.

Pauline Deans, community liaison officer at Sellafield Ltd, explained: “We have a long history of supporting our communities and having met with Helen Higginson from Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Charity, we wanted to do something to support this project.

“The challenge has benefited the dementia ward by providing them with a calm, colourful and safe outdoor area.”

“This will help to create a piece of normality, which can help to reduce anxieties created by being in a different environment. It has also helped our employees to develop leadership, team working and observation skills and puts into practice the principles of social responsibility.”

Helen Higginson, charity fundraising manager said: “Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Charity raises funds to provide additional comforts, care or experiences for the direct benefit of patients and their families, beyond that which the NHS provides.

“The Forget Me Not unit was designed to lead the way in best practice in dementia care, and has created a relaxed environment to minimize patient distress which can often be caused by entering a new environment.

“Much consideration was given to minimize the clinical feel of the unit, such as specialist lighting, designed to help patients’ co-ordinate themselves between night and day and support better sleeping patterns; coloured flooring and walls to assist with navigation and pictogram signage to help reduce confusion.

“Creating this outdoor area will provide a much needed facility and will enhance what we have been able to achieve inside the ward.”

Sellafield Ltd employs more than 1,200 people in Warrington, working in a variety of roles including project management, engineering and design.

Alex Walsh, head of planning implementation and head of Warrington offices at Sellafield Ltd added: “The community project provides us with an opportunity for some of our employees to work together in a different environment and get to know colleagues they haven’t worked with before. It is very satisfying seeing the difference we have made at the end of the day and knowing what a difference this will make to the staff, patients and their families.”