A Blackheath dementia charity is delivering 'reminiscence' activity boxes to vulnerable residents who are unable to access support during the pandemic.

Age Exchange closed its doors earlier this month, leaving its 150 regulars without a crucial social and creative space with access to a library, café and activities ranging from art classes to seated Pilates.

Carefully designed to improve the mental health, mood and engagement of someone with dementia, each box contains a fortnight’s activities, including arts, crafts and quizzes.

Rebecca Packwood, Age Exchange Chief Executive, said: “Our service is a lifeline to many people who have little social contact and are struggling with the challenges of dementia, so we were hugely anxious being able to support them through this crisis.

“Within five hours, our team had created a virtual day care service so we can continue to provide creative engagement and support to the people who rely on Age Exchange.

“The amazing work which has gone into creating the virtual service – including the activity boxes which were designed by a local artist – is a testament to the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and I am sure they will prove vital to the vulnerable people we help.”

The boxes are part of a 'virtual' care service the charity is now providing, which includes telephone befriending and filmed singing and movement classes which are sent out on DVD.

Once up and running, the charity will move to extend the service to any of its 130 volunteers who are self-isolating and at risk of loneliness.