We have now moved the WRAP from Grove Mills, Cranbrook Road, to Hawkhurst House. This is locally known as Babies Castle. This has had a very long and varied history in Hawkhurst and we were very pleased when they suggested we could hold WRAP there as soon as it opened.
In 1883 Mr Theodore Moillet donated a couple of villas on the land for Barnados to house babies. The demand was so great a substantial extension was created to house 120 babies inside its walls. The castle like building then was dubbed Babies Castle, and even today villagers refer Hawkhurst House as this. When it had its opening it was opened by royalty.
It ran for a huge amount of years and changed purposes to start looking after the elderly, until its closure in 2005. The building was left to the elements while a buyer was sought. Now many years later, a new building has replaced the castle and a new beginning is taking shape.
After two false starts when the move had to be postponed because of the winter weather, D.C. Groves the removal company, moved us very efficiently and we were able to continue with the same routine but in new very comfortable surroundings. One change is that the lunch is cooked for us and wheeled in in a shiny heated trolley. Parking is also greatly improved.
We are very grateful to all the local shops, pubs and restaurants who permit us to put our blue collecting boxes on their counters. We find very generous amounts in these boxes, Thank you for collecting for us.
We have recently purchased a new coffee machine for the use of visitors to the Hospital. Our old machine could no longer cope with the new coins and was also rather temperamental. We are extremely grateful to the Weald Bridge Group who held a fund- raising party and donated a very generous sum to us which we have used to purchase the shining new machine. The League will continue to maintain and stock the new machine.
Kate Foy who already runs music sessions for the Dementia Day Care Centre has also started therapeutic music sessions once a week at the Community Hospital on Friday mornings. The sessions are great fun and include singing, listening, conducting, dancing and reminiscing to a wide range of music. All musical passions are catered for and choices are adapted to suit an individual or small group. Encouragement of involvement often comes from group members themselves and such interactions help the road to recovery, as friendships are formed, gentle
chair exercises are perfected and memories are shared, helping communication and social interaction. Laughter is often heard as the music evokes emotions and anxious patients feel more relaxed and less worried about their fragility. Patients who come along to the sessions have an opportunity to feel uplifted and not limited by
their pain or mobility problems.
“Music expresses that which can not be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” Victor Hugo 1802
Another patient gave us a very generous donation to purchase new garden furniture for the staff to sit and eat their lunch outside should the weather be warm.