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It may be news to many that The Salvation Army operates 13 care homes across the UK. One of these care homes is Youell Court in Coventry, which provides residential care for up to 40 people, many of whom are living with dementia. The home provides specialised support, with organised activities during the week as well as allowing the residents to have the freedom to choose what they do on a day to day basis.

The Butterfly Project is a new initiative launched at Youell Court as part of this specialist care. The project involves creating a lounge of nostalgia filled with everyday items from past and present day. The room will be a therapeutic and calming environment by tapping into memories from peoples’ past. Evoking fond memories can help stop residents from becoming confused and stressed – often conditions of dementia.

The Salvation Army shops in Coventry, Nuneaton, Leamington Spa and Dudley are also part of this project, asking for donations specifically for The Butterfly Project. A memory list has been put together, made up of items that would work particularly well within the lounge keeping the residents who will use it in mind. Items include typewriters, tea sets and tools for those who used these items on a daily basis in their past.

The project has been coordinated by Elaine Cobb, Director of Older Peoples Services for The Salvation Army UK. Elaine said ‘We are really pleased to be pressing on with The Butterfly Project at Youell Court. We are relying on donations so that the environment can be as helpful as possible to them and we are thrilled to have the shops on board.’