Wymondham Dementia Support Group delighted after being given Queen’s Voluntary Service Award

Trevor Brown and Dianne Fernee at Buckingham Palace, when they accepted the Queen’s Voluntary Servic

Trevor Brown and Dianne Fernee at Buckingham Palace, when they accepted the Queens Voluntary Service Award for the Wymondham Dementia Support Group has been awarded. Picture: Courtesy of Dianne Fernee - Credit: Archant

A group which has been supporting people with dementia and their carers in a Norfolk town for almost 10 years has been given an award equivalent to an MBE.

The Wymondham Dementia Support Group has been presented with the Queen's Voluntary Service Award, the highest award given out to volunteer groups across the UK.

Trevor Brown, one of the group's founding fathers, and Dianne Fernee, its organiser, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace in June to accept the award.

Mrs Fernee said she was delighted with the accolade. She said: 'This is an amazing accolade for all the caring, love and support that the 64 volunteers of the group give to its members.

'The growth of the group has been phenomenal, starting with six couples some eight years ago to a membership of some 84 couples at the present time.'

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The group's history goes back to 2008, when the Wymondham Pabulum Café Committee was formed with the goal of starting a weekly cafe, which was launched the following year.

The support group became a registered charity in 2011.

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Mrs Fernee said: 'We provide a large variety of activities from knitting arts and crafts, singing, poetry, gardening, table games and of course our famous games hall were you can play snooker table tennis indoor curling table football and bean bag challenge.

'The group also took the lead last year in the battle to save the Admiral nurses - dementia nurses - and, thanks to these efforts, we now have the foundations of a new sustainable Admiral nurse service with seven new Admiral nurses.'

Mrs Fernee said the group relied on donations and fundraising, and earlier this month it hosted an 'old time music hall' event to raise money.

She said: 'Both volunteers and members joined Encore and The Barber Shop Quartet for a truly enjoyable event and request for a repeat next year.

'And our chairman for the evening, Ian McDonald, tantalised and titillated the audience with his amazing vocabulary dexterity.'

The Pabulum Café meets on Fridays at the Fairland Church Centre from 10am to 1pm. To find out more about the group, visit www.wymondham-dementia-support-group.org.uk

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