AN OLD shipping pallet has been turned into a therapeutic Christmas tree for elderly residents with dementia at a Teesside care home.
The pallet was upcycled by maintenance man Mark Robertson for those at Briarwood Care Home, on Normanby Road, Eston, near Middlesbrough.
Previously used to ship new furniture, the pallet was cut into the shape of a Christmas tree before being sanded down by activities coordinators Caitlin Dawson and Norma Dobie and then painted green by residents.
The pallet tree was then mounted onto a wall so residents could decorate it as often as they like without the danger of it falling onto them like a real tree.
Re-decorating the tree has also proven therapeutic for the home’s residents living with dementia, who regularly add and remove baubles, beads, stars and other decorations.
Mark Culley, home manager at Briarwood Care Home, said: “With a normal Christmas tree, there is a concern our residents with dementia will pull it onto themselves.
“The new tree has been fixed to the wall to make it safe for everyone. Residents can enjoy decorating and seeing it but with none of the safety concerns.
“Many of our residents also recall decorating their Christmas trees in past years, so decorating the new tree as often as they like has an added therapeutic benefit.
“Visitors to the home have all said it looks great. We’re all set for the festivities now.”