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Wetherby volunteer’s personal story inspires memory café support

A Wetherby volunteer’s personal story inspired her to support a charity memory café bringing joy to those living with dementia and their carers.

Megan Gill, aged 25 from Leeds, is among an army of more than 120 volunteers who regularly give up their time to support Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) services- including activities, transport and befriending.

All the charity’s volunteers are being celebrated as part of Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June)- an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.

Megan said: “I work at NG Bailey, where we are provided with volunteer days, and it is our choice where we use this time. I chose to volunteer at Memory Café as my grandmother used to attend one and loved it. It was the highlight of her week and allowed my grandad to have an enjoyable time as well with other carers. I never got to see my grandmother attend one as they lived in Cornwall, but I know how much of a positive impact it had on her life and how wonderful all the volunteers were. I decided I would spend my time volunteering to try and make a positive impact on others.

“My favourite thing about the Memory Café is when there is a live singer. It is wonderful to see everyone sing along and those who can will get up and dance. It is a very happy atmosphere, and the volunteers join in too.

“The happiness that the sessions bring is clear with the smiles on everyone’s faces. Even if people living with dementia do not remember what happened, they will go away having those positive, happy feelings and know the way they feel after the session. The Memory Café also provides a wonderful opportunity for carers to have a break and a chance to have a conversation with others who are experiencing similar situations. It also allows carers to chat with volunteers and check out what other events are organised in their area.

“I know the Memory Café makes a difference for those living with dementia and their carers as I know it really did for my grandparents and I am proud to be a part of that.”

WiSE’s Memory Café supports those living with dementia and their carers by providing an appropriate setting to focus on clients’ wellbeing, with sessions facilitated by two professional members, alongside WiSE’s own trained volunteers. Support and advice is also offered to family carers to assist them in their day-to-day continuing and challenging caring role.

For more information about WiSE and the volunteering opportunities available, visit www.w-ise.org.uk

 

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