Ladies’ Fellowship—January 2016

Twelve ladies were present to listen to Cath and Ronnie Knowles from 'Happy Memories' explain about their work in our locality and to witness Margaret presenting a cheque for £1400 from our fundraising events in 2015 to help the group.
'Happy Memories' was a title chosen by the group itself when it was formed to help dementia sufferers and their families, friends and carers.It was started in 2006 by Cath. She had worked for the Alzheimer's Society since 1986 and wanted to open a local group. She was told she could do this for a year. After that she went solo but received a lot of help from the late Rev Michael Stopford.

From her experiences with dementia sufferers Cath realised that the first thing they lose is their social life. Many carers try to cover up problems because of the difficulty of facing up to them, so sufferers are kept out of society. 'Happy Memories' emphasises the social life so both carers and sufferers can once again enjoy meeting people and lots of trips and events are arranged for the group.
The group meets alternate weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition to monthly luncheon clubs, a monthly carers group and coffee mornings. The fort nightly Tuesday and Thursday meetings gives the organisers a chance for a little rest in what is a busy schedule.

On Tuesdays the 40 strong group meets at St Andrew's Methodist Church, Mirfield and the 36 Thursday people meet at St Paulinus' Roman Catholic Church in Dewsbury. The low cost of these venues is largely due to the negotiations of Michael Stopford. £4 per person is charged for the three hours between 12o'clock and 3o'clock and people bring their own sandwiches for lunch. Their is a varied programme of activities such as singing, dancing, games, exercises and quizzes. As many day trips and half-day trips as possible are arranged to a variety of venues and there is no charge for these trips but a payment is made for the hire of the bus. One little group likes to go on holiday together for a week. Others meet informally on other days such as the carers group of 12 people which helps to boost morale and the group which mets for lunch on Tuesdays at the Minster. Altogether there are 104 people on the books.

Referrals to 'Happy Memories' are made from GPs, social workers and other memory clubs. They have the support of Kirklees Council and so far their grant has not been reduced.

Cath was thrilled to receive our cheque on behalf of the group presented by our treasurer, Margaret. We, in turn, we're pleased to donate it and to play a small part  in helping another local group in its valuable work within our community. We wish them well for the future.

Elaine Heard. ®
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