Supporting those who need it most

Gloria Hunniford visits BCM to show her support for Copelands

Gloria Hunniford visits BCM to show her support for Copelands

Gloria Hunniford was the guest of honour at a special event on 11 May to launch our new flagship project, Copelands Dementia, Nursing and Residential Care which will be situated between Donaghadee and Millisle. 

Due to open early 2020, the home will comprise six households, each with 10 residents. The aim is to provide the best possible care to frail older people, including those living with dementia. 

Each household will have its own front door, kitchen and living area as well as access to a communal outdoor area, so that it will evoke memories of ‘home’ for someone who is starting to suffer from the stress of memory loss and diminished cognitive ability.   The home has been designed with the differing cognitive, social and physical abilities of the residents in mind, promoting the use of familiar and recognizable surroundings and activities to stimulate residents’ deepest and earliest memories.  Visual clues throughout the design help residents with recollection to avoid confusion and increased anxiety. Additionally, it creates opportunities for staff and residents to interact more easily in activities of daily living.

Gloria Hunniford says,   

"Dementia is known as the most feared health condition of our time. I know how disturbing and emotional dementia can be first hand because my own sister, Lena, developed the condition before she died six years ago in a care home at the age of 77 – so my heart goes out to everyone affected by it.   

Things are definitely getting better; slowly but surely, more people are talking about dementia, with myths and misconceptions being tackled and public understanding is improving. The importance of special training for nurses and carers to deal with and understand dementia is also being addressed. 

Copelands will be a flagship project, providing market leading care for NI. It will be constructed according to a gold standard in dementia design and will offer  24-hour care in a comfortable and supported environment with en-suite rooms, each one equipped to give residents maximum opportunity and independence.  

The Alzheimer’s Society, who I am proud to support, say that “life doesn’t need to end when dementia begins” – but that can only be the case when we all start to confront dementia rather than let it dominate our lives." 

Nicky Conway, Head of Development at Belfast Central Mission, said: 

“After years of planning I am delighted that Copelands is now coming close to fruition. This is a flagship project for BCM and one which we believe will be market leading in both its care model and design.

Copelands is based on the Household Model of Care, a model first developed in America which aims to break down the traditional care home into familial households of 10 residents. Each household has its own front door, domestic style kitchen and dining room, living room and the cosy spaces found in any home. Each household is really like a large house and our aim is to create as home-like an environment as possible. Overall the focus is on person-centred care and giving residents more choice about how they spend their day. We are also planning to provide a new volunteer role of home-maker in each household who will engage residents in meaningful activities such as cooking, baking and housework.

In addition to the household model we also believe Copelands will be an exemplar because of the design features it will offer. All rooms will be spacious with full en-suite wet rooms and each will have either its own balcony/patio area or a window seat with a folding sofa bed to enable resident’s relatives to stay, for example during end of life care. In addition, there will be extensive communal space including a café, worship space, hobbies and craft room, cinema room, hairdresser/ nail bar and all of this set in a beautiful coastal location."

Further information can be found at