Press Release

15 April 2013

Canterbury Christ Church University has teamed up with Bridge Haven Care Centre to restore memories and laugher in the lives of their residents by opening The Haven Snug pub in the Centre last Thursday.

From left to right: Sue Keiper, Justine Norris, Hayley Prior and Charlotte Mattey
From left to right: Sue Keiper, Justine Norris, Hayley Prior and Charlotte Mattey

Three final year Occupational Therapist students from the University have worked hard over the last few months to contact local people to plea for donations of any pub memorabilia, furniture and pictures that could provide residents with a regular ‘happy hour’.

The students, Charlotte, Hayley and Justine, who have been on a work placement at Bridge Care Centre for ten weeks as part of their degree course, decided to build the pub and develop the additional facilities with the male residents specifically in mind.

Charlotte Mattey, an Occupational Therapist student at Christ Church, explained; “It came to our attention that the men didn’t have as much to do here as the women, who get their nails and hair done and things like that; and they don’t tend to socialise as well as the women do either. So we thought that they might like a pub to reminisce and socialise in.


Charlotte Mattey with resident
Charlotte Mattey with resident

“It’s taken us about nine weeks to pull it all together. Along with the money from the local police, a lot of it is donations, charity shops, some of the staff and relatives of the residents have brought things in like glasses and pictures.”

Occupational Therapists aim to enable people to do all of the things that they want or need to be able to do on a day to day basis in order to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The centre cares for people with dementia, which slowly takes away that person’s ability to socialise and communicate with people verbally and physically.

The students have already seen the positive effect that the pub has had on the residents. Charlotte went on to say: “We’ve had some of the residents in for lunches over the last few days and it has made a big difference. They find it easier to chat to each other as there isn’t a lot of background noise, and they are in smaller groups which make it easier for them to socialise.

“It has made a big difference with one gentleman who has not been eating his meals. For the last few days, the staff have been encouraging him to eat in the pub and now he eats everything – all of his dinner and his pudding.”

The students have found this interaction with the local community hugely beneficial for the progression of their studies and Bridge Care Centre has enjoyed having the help. Care Centre Manager, Sue Keiper, said: “The students have been so enthusiastic, spending a lot of their own spare time here as well to make sure the pub is ready for use. We will miss them as they have integrated so well and their enthusiasm has spread across all the staff.”


Hayley, Charlotte and Justine
From left to right: Hayley, Charlotte and Justine

The students’ time has now drawn to a close at the Care Centre so that they can finish their studies at the University. However, they have left the residents with somewhere that they can come together and reminisce over a pint and a packet of peanuts.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


Media contact

Holly Finch

Assistant Media Relations Officer

Canterbury Christ Church University

01227 863528


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:16:00