Ageable + National Trust : A New Dementia & Carer Space at Peckover in Wisbech

3 min readApr 7, 2022


We have been commissioned by the National Trust to support their EU funded (Interreg) project called MONUMENT (MOre NUrturing and More Empowerment Nested in Technology). Working with colleagues from across Europe, the National Trust is transforming the old Reed Barn at Peckover House, in Wisbech, into a space for people living with dementia and their informal carers, inspired by the Odense Model of dementia day care that has been pioneered in Holland.

Reed Barn at Peckover House National Trust (Pic by NT Photographer)

‘Work is underway at Peckover, to transform the Reed Barn into a safe place where people living with dementia, their families & carers, can share experiences, gain new skills and take a break from caring responsibilities. It is hoped the Reed Barn will open in July 2022, following successful test events earlier in the year.‘ NT

Sarah Dyer & Alice capturing dementia challenges (photo by Burcu Turkay)

We are especially excited about this partnership because it is the first National Trust site to create a purpose-built dementia friendly space like this.

We were invited to offer advice, support and guidance at a critical point in the planning of the project and helped the team at Peckover really understand what is needed to deliver services to people living with dementia and their informal carers.

Alice led the team, working closely with Burcu Turkay, who brought her incredible design and dementia experience, and together we created, facilitated, synthesised and translated team workshops into a report of recommendations of what the space could be used for.

We worked closely with Tom Bailey, Project Manager, and Sarah Dyer, Senior Visitor Programming Officer for the Project from the National Trust.

We’ve really loved supporting the National Trust on this innovative project, helping them to engage with people living with dementia and their carers, and working in collaboration to create a new dementia-friendly community space in Wisbech.

Important questions that we asked through the process:

  1. How can we create a set of design principles and possibility that can be applied across all their vision and work?
  2. How can we embed confidence and eagerness within the team and include people living with dementia and their carers in the design decisions and process?
  3. How can we be sure that we make the space as inclusive and accessible as possible for caregivers and people living with dementia?
Workshop Exploring Dementia & Digital (Photograph by NT)

“We needed proof and evidence to deliver this work and do it in a way that gives us evidence that we needed for our funders too…

The truth is that we didn’t really know what to expect as we had never worked in this way before — but we trusted in you, and your professionalism and you did deliver — it was a success for sure! We had a sense of what we wanted to see but we just didn’t know as it was a steep learning curve for us.”

Sarah Dyer — National Trust

We loved having the opportunity to really support the work especially at times when it felt tough, it is tough! Engaging with people with dementia is hard but when you stick at it — it does happen, it took some time to get people with lived experience at our workshops but with time and persistence it did happen! We had many complex layers of barriers at play — ageing/covid/lack of existing networks, but being curious and creative as opposed to giving up, meant that we got there in the end.

The full National Trust PR write up is here around this work that showcases their ambition and we cannot wait to see it flourish.

‘In terms of what happens next… Our hope is that in 5 years time you’ll see it all around the other National Trust places around the country!’ Sarah NT




We use imagination & creativity to re-design the way we live, age & care.