Help needed to keep vital Worcester dementia services running - The Worcester Observer

Help needed to keep vital Worcester dementia services running

Worcester Editorial 7th Oct, 2022   0

A VITAL lifeline for dementia sufferers and their carers in Worcester and Malvern could close its doors because of a lack of volunteers, charity bosses have warned.

Age UK Worcester and Malvern issued a stark warning over services at its Dementia Meeting Centres.

The charity offers vital support to those with dementia and carers at Bank House on Shaw Street and Chantry House in St Johns.

Meeting centres can also be found at St Matthias Church in Malvern and at the Nora Parsons Centre on Venn Lane, Wichenford.




But a lack of volunteers has placed the charity under pressure with bosses warning services will be scaled back or even lost for good unless help can be found.

Kirsty Hughes, dementia meeting centre manager, told the Observer: “It would be the shops doing shorter hours, and certainly if I do not have enough volunteers, we would have to cancel our dementia meeting centres, which lets the members and carers down.


“The more help we have, the less we have to close.”

The centre runs five days a week and would need at least two volunteers at each dementia meeting centre because of safeguarding issues.

A further, six or seven volunteers – the size of the group depending – would be needed to help run special days out for the members.

The sessions are tailored to each type of dementia and aim to stimulate the brain, which will not cure dementia but can keep the disease stable for longer.

One regular user of the service Vaughan Nicholls, said: “It is nice having human contact.”

His grandson in law Jordan Baker said many found the service useful due to the relief it provides for carers while also giving Vaughan activities to keep his mind occupied.

He added: “If these services weren’t here, it would be very difficult.

“You can leave a loved one here, which offers you some freedom, for example, if you wanted a break or you need to go shopping.

“And, then it gives him a lot of things to do, he can play games, he can talk to people.”

Also under threat is the new Dementia Befriending Service, where a volunteer visits a patient at their home to offer relief to their carer.

The sessions cost £25 a session and run between 10am and 3pm.

Visit ageuk.org.uk/worcester-malvern-hills/get-involved/volunteer/ if you would like to volunteer.

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