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Majgården – A home with 100 years of history

1908

Gnesta has offered a home to people with psychological disabilities for more than 100 years. It all started with the Majgården Children’s Home.

In the newspaper Vi och vårt, an article from 1910 read: “You don’t need to see Miss Maja Karlsson with her charges for long to become convinced that she is very fond of them.” A couple of years earlier, Svartvitt historiskt foto: gruppbild med finklädda barn och vuxna.Karlsson had opened Majgården in Gnesta – a home for ‘mentally weak’ children that offered ‘a home environment, good individual care and education’, according to an information brochure from the time.

In the spirit of Maja Karlsson, Gudrun Jansson and Siw Andersson exhibit the same genuinely warm feeling for all those they have taken care of over the years. They started work at Majgården in the late 1970s when the facility was a care home for people with Down Syndrome and congenital brain defects.

A lot has happened since then. Siw Andersson particularly remembers the communal clothing cupboard that was once in place. She felt that people should own their own clothes; she defied all the regulations and resolutely took one resident with her to a shop to buy jeans and a denim jacket.

“After that, everyone was allowed to go out and buy their own clothes,” she says.

Another strong memory was the implementation of LSS, the Act Concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments. This legislation meant that those who were able were allowed to move into their own accommodation when the care home was closed down. Staff worried about how residents would cope with the changes.

“It was a big thing when they first moved out,” remembers Gudrun. “Many of the residents had lived in an institution for most of their lives.”

But the concern was unfounded. The LSS concept of residents being able to live independently was very popular.

“With residents living in their own homes, our jobs became more individually tailored. We visited different residents’ flats and provided back-up. Our former residents were very proud when they opened their doors to us,” she says.

barn åker skidor

We meet at the Industri och Hantverk (Industry and Crafts) day centre. It’s a place where more than half of those who live at Nytida’s other three units in Gnesta and Trosa – two group homes and one assisted-living accommodation unit – come to work. The buildings at Majgården are now a school located across the road from one of the group homes. Before Nytida assumed operations in 2016, the most recent owners were Solhagagruppen; the unit was and still is called Fjällgatan Omsorger.

“But to the people of Gnesta, it will probably always be known as Majgården,” say Siw and Gudrun.

 

Read more about Fjällgatan Kaprifolen