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Held earlier this year, Climate Week was generally considered a chance for innovation. As just one example, MHA’s Willersley House in Hull made bags out of curtains, and dishes including golden vegetable soup and bubble and squeak out of the extra, unused food from earlier meals. But while being resourceful with food, fuel and fabric seems novel to many of us, they are nothing new to residents like Sadie, for whom these things were once rationed. “The sound of the sewing machine brought back memories of using my treadle machine [before] I went on to an electric model,” Sadie recalled. “I recycled my wedding dress in 1942 to make underslips out of it. I think it is an excellent idea to recycle old things to give them new life.”

We participated in Climate Week for several reasons. Our residential settings and Live at Home schemes are friendly communities within themselves, but they are also very engaged with the world around them. All generations can work towards a clean and sustainable environment and minimising waste helps us to continue providing high quality care at good value for money. But we also saw how much we can learn from older people in addressing relatively new concerns such as climate change. Those who have been on our planet the longest are well equipped to show us how to care for it into the future. We can learn a lot from those who dug for victory and made do and mended, before we were even born!

Melanie Shreeve

Director of Estates

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