Forget-Me-Not Buddies Tameside was born from an Alzheimer’s Club which used to run on a Monday afternoon at Joseph Jennings Court in Ashton. When that fell through, the members and volunteers decided to take it on themselves.
Now, the buddies meet every Monday at St. Mary’s Church Hall in Denton, where they take part in a different activity every week.
Roy Bate, who helped set up the group, said: “The helpers and volunteers, who welcomed us in and made us feel comfortable, came to us one day and asked if they could become part of the Forget-Me-Not buddies.
“They run the Monday afternoon club very successfully; Lindra, Frieda, Ian and Tony. It’s gone from 15 people on the first occasions, the nearly 40 people now. The Monday club is doing exceedingly well because of all the activities going on, that these people organise.”
Activities in recent weeks have included a ukulele band, dancers, a Zumba class, armchair exercises and musical bingo.
As well as the weekly events, other activities are organised through the week by Viv Shilton, such as last Thursday’s bowling trip.
Viv’ said: “We’re going to go to Harry Ramden’s for fish and chips. We’re going to do a cream tea canal trip and we’ve got three days out; one towards Blackpool, one to Harrogate and another one. They are days out which include things like a meal, dancing and bingo. We’re going to Smokies in March. It’s just really things like that we do.”
The Forget-Me-Not Buddies group is for those suffering with dementia, as well as a chance for their carers to get together.
Volunteer Linda Smith says, “It’s a chance for the carers to help each other and a little respite for the carers as well, because they can discuss between themselves any problems they might have and learn from other people’s experience.”
“One person’s experience might be completely different to what someone else might be experiencing. It’s for dementia sufferers and their carers; that means the carers can discuss anything they want and know they’re not alone. We’ve had a few people visit and they’ve all said it’s a lovely atmosphere.”
Linda’s fellow volunteer, Frieda Gregory added: “I think the group has a wonderful effect on those that come. For the carers, it’s a bit of quality time to talk to other carers. They have a laugh, a brew and biscuits, a sing-a-long etc. They don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to- they can just sit there and have a sleep if they want!”
For more information on the Forget-Me-Not Buddies, you can visit their website; www.forgetmenotbuddies.wordpress.com or visit their Facebook page; www.facebook.com/groups/FriendsOfTamesideAlzheimers
Or call Viv Shilton on: 07912 176 887 or Roy Bate on: 07787 907 087.
Roy arranges the Ten-Pin Bowling once a month