New group starts up in Mattishall offering support and friendship to people living with dementia and their carers

A new group has been set up in Mattishall for people wi dementia and their carers.
Byline: Sonya Dun

A new group has been set up in Mattishall for people wi dementia and their carers. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A new dementia support group is starting up in Mattishall next week to offer friendship, advice and support to those living with the condition and their carers.

The group, run entirely by volunteers, plans to open once a month at the Methodist Church in the village, but if there is sufficient demand they would look to offer more sessions with events and activities.

The group is being co-ordinated by Melanie Stevenson and Lynda Brandish and was started after the minister of the church, Rev Betty Trinder, offered them the use of the premises, having seen a similar service set up in the parish where she used to work.

Mrs Brandish, a former professional counsellor, said she and her husband Mike went to see the Wymondham Dementia Group and were 'bowled over' by what they were doing for their community.

'We felt we must get something up and running in Mattishall,' she said. 'My mother had dementia and having been a carer myself I particularly wanted to work with carers and give them more support and information.

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'People can feel so isolated and can also be quite embarrassed when they go out and about so if they can meet up with other people in the same situation they can laugh about it and not feel so alone.'

The group is open to anyone dealing with dementia in their lives both in Mattishall and surrounding villages and will meet on the third Tuesday of every month, starting next week on March 21, 10am to 12pm.

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They idea is to have a number of activities on offer as well as refreshments, guest speakers and advice and information.

'We hope it will be a lot of fun,' said Mrs Brandish. 'We have spent a great deal of time recruiting the volunteers - we have 20 people on board - and getting training for everyone.

'It will start small but we hope to expand the service as demand increases and the word spreads.'

The sessions are completely free but any donations towards refreshments would be appreciated. Anyone unable to attend or who may wish to support the group can also give a donation to help them buy equipment and organise activities.

They would like to hear from anyone thinking of attending and people can contact Lynda Brandish on 01362 857810 or Melanie Stevenson on 01362 858799.

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