Dementia Friendly Places in Bury St Edmunds

Explore dementia-friendly places in Bury St Edmunds, offering inclusive environments and support for those living with memory loss.

Introducing Dementia Friendly Places

Bury St Edmunds, a picturesque market town nestled in the heart of Suffolk, is not only steeped in history but is also at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and accessibility for all. One of the ways it does so is by fostering a dementia-friendly community, where individuals living with dementia, as well as their families and carers, can feel supported and welcomed. In this article, we’ll explore the best dementia-friendly places in Bury St Edmunds and the initiatives taken to ensure a comfortable experience for all.

The Apex

Located in the heart of the Arc Shopping Centre, The Apex is Bury St Edmunds’ premier entertainment venue. With a wide array of events, from concerts to comedy shows and theatre productions, The Apex is committed to being dementia-friendly. They have trained staff, known as Dementia Friends, who can provide assistance and support to those living with dementia and their carers. The venue also offers accessible seating, with spaces for wheelchair users and their companions, making it a perfect destination for a fun and enjoyable outing.

The Abbey Gardens

A stroll through the beautiful Abbey Gardens is an idyllic way to spend an afternoon in Bury St Edmunds. The gardens are not only home to stunning floral displays, but also provide a serene and calming environment for individuals living with dementia. With wide, well-maintained pathways and plenty of benches, the gardens are accessible for all. In addition, sensory features such as fragrant plants and the gentle sounds of the River Lark create a soothing atmosphere. The Abbey Gardens also host events and activities specifically tailored for people with dementia, such as the Memory Walk, organised by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Moyse's Hall Museum

Moyse’s Hall Museum, located on Cornhill, is a fantastic dementia-friendly destination for those interested in the history of Bury St Edmunds. This fascinating museum offers interactive displays, making it an engaging experience for people of all ages and abilities. The museum staff have undergone dementia awareness training to ensure a supportive environment for visitors with dementia and their carers. Furthermore, the museum has introduced dementia-friendly gallery trails, providing a guided experience through the exhibitions, making it an enjoyable and accessible visit for everyone.

The Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal, one of the oldest and most beautiful Regency playhouses in the country, is a shining example of a dementia-friendly venue. With a range of performances, from classic plays to pantomimes, there is always something to entertain and delight visitors. The theatre staff have been trained to assist and support individuals with dementia, and they offer dementia-friendly performances with adjusted lighting, sound levels, and relaxed audience rules. These adjustments create a more comfortable environment for those living with dementia, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the world of theatre.

Bury St Edmunds Library

Bury St Edmunds Library, situated on Sergeants Walk, is a treasure trove of resources for individuals living with dementia and their carers. The library offers dementia-friendly activities, such as Reminiscence Sessions, where participants can explore and discuss memories through various prompts, and Singing for the Brain, a group activity that uses music to stimulate cognitive function and promote social interaction. The library also provides a range of dementia-friendly resources, including books, DVDs, and information about local support services.

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

For an engaging and educational day out, West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village is a fantastic dementia-friendly destination. This open-air museum allows visitors to explore the reconstructed village, offering a unique insight into life during the Anglo-Saxon period. The village has been designed with accessibility in mind, featuring well-maintained paths and ramps, making it suitable for wheelchair users and those with mobility challenges. The friendly and knowledgeable staff have undergone dementia awareness training, ensuring a welcoming environment for individuals with dementia and their carers. Interactive elements, such as the opportunity to try on traditional Anglo-Saxon clothing and participate in craft activities, provide a stimulating and memorable experience for all.

The Guildhall

The Guildhall, a striking historic building in the heart of Bury St Edmunds, is another excellent dementia-friendly location to visit. This magnificent venue, with its beautiful medieval architecture, offers a range of community events, workshops, and exhibitions. The Guildhall staff are trained in dementia awareness, and the venue is fully accessible, providing a comfortable and engaging experience for individuals living with dementia. Events such as art workshops and guided tours are specifically tailored to be dementia-friendly, making The Guildhall an inclusive and welcoming destination.

Nowton Park

Nowton Park, a sprawling 200-acre green space, is a fantastic dementia-friendly location for those looking to enjoy nature and the great outdoors. The park boasts an array of sensory experiences, from the fragrant scents of the Rose Garden to the calming sounds of the pond. Wide, well-maintained pathways and plenty of seating make the park accessible and enjoyable for individuals with dementia and their carers. Throughout the year, Nowton Park hosts a variety of dementia-friendly events, such as nature walks and gardening sessions, designed to engage and entertain visitors.

Abbey Gate Cinema

Abbey Gate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds is committed to providing an inclusive environment for everyone, including those living with dementia. By offering dementia-friendly screenings, they aim to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for people with dementia and their carers. These screenings include adjustments such as lowered volume, soft lighting, and clear signage to make the experience more enjoyable and less overwhelming.

Abbey Gate Cinema’s staff are trained to accommodate the needs of people with dementia, ensuring a positive experience for all. They also offer a free carer ticket, recognizing the essential support that carers provide. These screenings include a 20-minute interval, allowing attendees to take a break and socialize, further enhancing the overall experience.

Concluding Dementia-Friendly Places in Bury St Edmunds

Bury St Edmunds has proven itself to be a leading example of a dementia-friendly community, with a wealth of accessible and inclusive venues and activities available for individuals living with dementia and their carers. By promoting awareness and providing tailored experiences, Bury St Edmunds ensures that everyone, regardless of their cognitive abilities, can fully enjoy the rich history, culture, and natural beauty that this charming market town has to offer.

Learn more about our efforts with those that suffer with Dementia