Peterborough care home residents get into the swing of new hobby

Residents at a Peterborough care home have been getting into the swing of a new hobby - after a minature golf course was built on site.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 6th September 2020, 6:31 am
Service manager Natalie Maxwell at Eagle Wood's Roman-themed golf course
Service manager Natalie Maxwell at Eagle Wood's Roman-themed golf course

Eagle Wood neurological care centre, located on Bretton Way, decided to invest in a miniature golf course to create a fun activity for residents to enjoy, both with members of staff and their family and friends.

Operated by PJ Care, a leading provider of specialist neurological care, Eagle Wood has four units, including a neurorehabilitation unit. The team provide care for people with young or early onset dementia, brain injuries, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease.

The miniature golf course was designed and built by specialists Urban Crazy and is Roman-themed in recognition of Peterborough’s heritage.

Mark Curtis, estate manager at PJ Care, oversaw the build. He said: “It’s very exciting, I know some care settings have one or two holes in their gardens, but I don’t think there is another in the UK that has its own purpose-built putting course.

“We’re lucky to have substantial grounds at Eagle Wood so there was enough space to do it justice.

“Our bespoke mini-golf course is Roman-themed as a nod to the Eagle Wood site, which archaeologists believe was originally a settlement when Britain was part of the Roman Empire.

“The first hole has a statue of a Roman soldier, there’s Roman statues and an overturned urn, a chariot, Coliseum, and also the seven hills of Rome. We had a lot of fun with the theme!”

Although built pre-lockdown, the pandemic has delayed Eagle Wood residents being able to enjoy the golf course.

“The nine-hole putting course has been specially designed and built to be accessible to all,” added Natalie Maxwell, service manager at Eagle Wood.

“The playing area is deliberately extra wide so that it can be accessed by wheelchairs, and the borders help to keep the ball in play on the hole.

“It’s great fun and the idea is that it can be a social activity for our residents to enjoy playing with a member of staff or something that their visitors can join in with.

“Staff were able to test out the course when it was completed, but because of the safety measure we had to put in place our residents haven’t been able to use it just yet.

“As well as being a lot of fun it will also provide various health and wellbeing benefits.

“It’s a low-impact exercise that will help with rehabilitation. I think it will be a great way for residents, and staff, to relax. It will encourage residents to get out in the fresh air, improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety, and help to keep the mind alert.”

The neurological centre’s specialist facilities and trained professionals allow them to provide high-quality care for vulnerable adults. Most of their residents are under the age of 65 and need specialist nursing care.

At present, access by visitors to Eagle Wood has been stopped in an effort to keep out the coronavirus and people are only allowed in under exceptional circumstances.

“Everyone is very excited to play a round,” continued Natalie, “it’s going to be a marvellous addition to the centre and we’re hoping it will be up and running very soon.”