Last week, Nestlé opened its doors for a York Cares Social Connections programme as part of Dementia Action Week.
In a first for York Cares and the Nestlé York site, over 30 participants, including carers, people living with dementia and their families arrived at Nestlé’s York campus to enjoy coffee, cake, games and view Nestlé adverts from years gone by.
The visitors were also able to use Nestlé’s reminiscence pack containing old packaging labels, posters, photographs and one of the earliest Rowntree’s Fruit Gums boxes.
Nestlé and York Cares have been working together for 3 years but this was the first time this type of event has been organised. The initiative came from Nestlé HR Apprentice, Abbie Scargill who says: ”Dementia is a topic close to my heart and I felt that, along with support from York Cares, we could make a difference by welcoming people living with dementia, family members and carers to Nestlé.
“As it is the first time we have done this event, we were overwhelmed with the response and it has made me realise how important it is to make the time for this type of event in our community.
I hope we can really bring people together and make a difference by simply starting conversations and building friendships. It is important to note that dementia effects people differently, and you can live happily with it. This event is designed to help people realise they shouldn’t ever feel alone.”
Ahead of the event, five Nestlé volunteers took part in specialised dementia awareness and reminiscence training.
Megan Hale, Volunteering Project Officer at York Cares, said: "The event is part of our Social Connections programme where employee volunteers can contribute to the wellbeing of older people in York.
“We know that a lot of people in York have a connection with Nestlé, formerly Rowntree’s and the opportunity to come back into that environment we hope will stimulate meaningful conversations and connections which may have previously been lost. We are encouraging employee volunteers from Nestlé to help make a difference to their local community through programmes such as Social Connections."
Nestlé employees across the UK and Ireland are able to take two days a year away from work to volunteer in the community, which equates to up to 15,000 days of volunteering every year from across the business.