Blandford Connect is in a residential part of Blandford Forum, a short walk from the town centre, in the middle of a truly welcoming and supportive local community. The service was previously known as Blandford Community Centre.
It is located over two floors with lift access. It is complemented by a large garden with a polytunnel at the back and a sunny courtyard.
Facilities, activities and services offered
The service offers a variety of activities for everyone. It offers activities and support that are tailored to individual needs and aspirations and which are delivered in an inclusive and empowering way.
Activity sessions range from art lessons to gents’ groups; knit and natter to gentle movement exercise classes: there are many options available. Support is provided to enable people to develop skills to achieve their own level of independence in, for example, cooking and meal preparation; shopping; home safety; travelling; money-management; maintaining good nutrition and effective communication. Therapeutic activities can also be accessed with support, from swimming to horse riding; pamper sessions and relaxation techniques.
Anyone looking for company and companionship, who would like to pursue their hobbies and meet like-minded people, are encouraged to join the service for any of their activities.
Additional services such as toe nail cutting and foot relaxation are offered, as well as manicures.
The centre has multiple lounges; small meeting rooms; and an art room as well as the Connect community café. There is a changing room and a bathroom with an accessible seat and walk in shower. Bathing services can be purchased by anyone (whether using the centre or not): full assistance is provided by a qualified carer.
Support to carers
A variety of activities and sessions are open to both the carer and the cared for to join in with. A carers’ support group ‘My Time’ meets every first Tuesday of the month, from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm. This is an open group that anyone can join at any time. The group members talk, share experiences and learn together, and various guests are invited to provide guidance and advice. The group also organises outings and events for its members. The service offers daily respite attendance to support carers and provides carers with guidance, advice and signposting.
Blandford Connect is open from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday. It is closed at weekends and bank holidays except when events are being hosted on Saturdays. It is also open on some evenings for events.
The service works with many local partners and hosts their services at Blandford Connect, bringing them closer to the community. These include the Blandford Registrar Service; diabetic eye screening; and reiki; relaxation; yoga and exercise classes.
All facilities are available to hire, and catering services can be provided to complement any events. There are several meeting rooms, two large lounges with access to the courtyard and garden and a dining hall/café. Charges and further information is available on request.