A mini-museum inside Haven Court – South Tyneside’s brand new NHS integrated service hub for older people

Haven Court, located at South Tyneside Hospital is a purpose-built and innovatively designed facility, which provides integrated health and social care services for older residents, their carers and families in South Tyneside. The state of the art facility brings together key health, social care and voluntary sector services to improve the range, quality and co-ordination of care and support, especially if you have dementia, to enable you to live independently in your community for longer.

The vision for Haven Court is for it to become a hub for the local community, providing person-centred care and support. Whether you need access to residential services, respite care or simply want to meet in the café, the centre will provide a ‘haven’ for you.’



Some of the household objects in the display

Haven Court opened in August and it looks great – such a nice community space. A lovely environment for older people.

To include local and historical inspiration into the design of the new space South Tyneside NHS approached South Shields Museum and Art Gallery to help provide objects to go on display. I work throughout Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on the Platinum Programme – for people over 55, so the task of finding suitable objects was passed to me.


Me with the objects on display. The images were created by another company – they look great!

It seemed perfect for me to work on this, as I was based in South Shields Museum and Art Gallery for 5 years. I even moved to South Tyneside! I was aware of a number of museum objects that could be put on display. Objects that we have doubles of and were not being used. Objects that I know local people will recognise. Items such as an old Shields ferry ticket, old postcards and a Wrights biscuits coaster with the familiar little boy logo.


South Tyneside objects including A South Shields police badge, Westoe brewery beer labels and an old ferry ticket.


A part of the ‘Memory wall’ showing the South Tyneside objects, a miners lamp, a sewing machine and an old telephone.

As well as local objects we set out to find objects that would generate conversation with older people and bring back memories. An old rotary dial telephone is great for showing to both old and young people. Youngsters try and press the dial – like buttons and don’t understand it, whilst people who can remember such telephones like the sound and action of something that was once so familiar.


A Bakelite radio and an old copy of the Radio Times

‘The displays all look amazing, there have been so many positive comments already and tonight several residents came along to look at them and they sparked a great deal of conversation between them.’

Lesley Dowson – Care Manager for Haven Court:


Zoe helping with one of the displays

We have lots more South Tyneside images to share with the centre and I’m looking forward to going back soon to share them and do some workshops with the residents.

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