AN OLD fashioned sweet shop has opened at a Thornaby care home thanks to donations from Castlegate Shopping Centre.

The Stockton shopping centre donated a fully working till and a hamper full of goodies to Mandale House Care Home, on Acklam Road.

The home has spent several weeks building the shop in the dementia suite, to provide a therapeutic activity for residents, who have been enjoying visits to buy their favourite bon bons.

Having an old-fashioned shop onsite can spark fond memories for those living with dementia, helping to improve mood and general wellbeing.

The work to get the shop ready included fitting electrics, cladding the walls, installing shelves and painting. The cash register was the final touch to give it the look and feel of the real thing.

Chantal Taylor, marketing and communications manager for Castlegate Shopping Centre, visited the home for the official opening.

She said: “When I heard about the shop, I thought it was a great idea, and we’re so glad that Castlegate can help.

“Castlegate is at the heart of Stockton and we do as much as possible to help all sectors of the community.

“I was delighted to be asked to open the shop. I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of the residents as they were buying their favourite sweets.”

Marilyn Leeson, daughter of Mandale House Care Home resident Brenda Turner, has volunteered to run the sweet shop. She said: “My mum thinks it’s a great idea and is looking forward to buying her sweets from the shop.”

Tracy Wilson, activities coordinator at the home, said: “We’re overwhelmed with the generosity of Chantal and Castlegate Shopping Centre.

“It’s lovely one of the family members is going to be manning the shop and helping the residents pick and buy their sweets as well.

“Something as seemingly simple as a shopping trip can have a powerful effect on those living with dementia, as it can bring back fond, calming memories.

“Buying sweets puts a smile on everyone’s faces and that’s the same for those living with dementia. It can help lift their mood and boost their general wellbeing.

“The new sweet shop is already proving very popular among the residents.”