A ‘life-changing’ day service has celebrated 30 years of connecting people to the community.

Sherbourne Connect is open from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday at the converted Victorian house at The Avenue.

Sherborne Connect was set up three decades ago as a supported meeting place for older people and now enhances the wellbeing of dozens of individuals aged 18-100 and often sees visitors enjoying cooking, quizzes and crosswords, arts and crafts and reminiscence sessions to promote mental stimulation.

One family member said: “My wife was diagnosed with having dementia about three years ago. She became very depressed and withdrawn after that.

“We were advised by her Case Controller to try and see whether going to Sherborne Connect would help to alleviate her symptoms. She started going and since then she's been much happier and looks forward to her sessions there.

“From a personal perspective I can only say that Sherborne Connect has changed our lives for the better.”

The service, previously known as The Shielings, became known as Sherborne Connect in 2015 when it changed from supporting purely older people to catering for the needs of anyone over the age of 18 with an assessed need.

Armchair exercise, skittles and boules are also popular at the service, alongside music and singing, with local entertainers regularly playing for the clients.

Alongside providing fun and companionship for people who use the service, Sherborne Connect provides families and carers with invaluable respite care and the peace of mind that their loved ones are being expertly supported. 

Anne Towler, 86, went to Sherborne Connect purely to access the assisted bathing service and discovered company and companionship.

She explained: “I started coming in January 2022, because after breaking my hips I wasn’t able to get into my bath and had been relying on strip washes for over two years.

“The first time I was lowered into the special ARJO hydrotherapy bath they have here it felt like heaven.

“I’ve been coming weekly ever since for a bath and I also stay on for cooking, arts and crafts, music, singing and board games. I really enjoy it.”