Memory loss no bar to new Hadlow Down club

TN 22 Community Choir
TN 22 Community Choir

Hot on the heels of its highly successful TN22 Club for older people based in Hadlow Down, local charity Engage South East is launching a new club for people living in the locality with memory problems or dementia.

The TN22 Plus Club will open on Wednesday, October 2 and offer a longer session from 10.30am to 3.30pm with more activities and tailored support for those members with memory loss or dementia.

Wendy Coleman, dementia manager for Engage South East said: “A recent report by the Alzheimer’s Society highlighted just one in three people with dementia only leave their home once a week and one in 10 get out just once a month. On top of that, almost half of people with dementia feel like a burden and avoid getting involved with local life so it is clear to see there is definitely a need for this service.

“We are trying to build a dementia-friendly community where people with memory issues are understood, respected, supported and given the confidence they need to contribute to community life.

“At our new Plus Club, the emphasis will be placed on a warm, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, together with companionship, varied and stimulating activities and, of course, a delicious freshly-cooked lunch. Having an opportunity to get out, socialise with others and participate in a new activity helps to maintain independence, stay out of care for longer and have a better quality of life.”

There’s no requirement to attend the original club in order to join the TN22 Plus Club as it is open to all, but for those with memory loss or dementia there is a higher ratio of helper support to enable members to attend the Club either with, or without, their family support or carer.

One of the TN22 Club’s recent activities has been participating in the TN22 Community Choir’s rehearsals and on October 9 the choir will give its first performance as part of UK Older People’s Day 2013.

The concert takes place at Hadlow Down Village Hall between 2pm and 4pm and for some numbers the choir will be joined by children from St Mark’s School.

Entrance is free including refreshments and homemade cakes and everyone is welcome, but please call Suzanne to reserve a place on 01435 661054. The TN22 Club’s success is due to the goodwill of an amazing group of volunteers, all with a desire to support older people in the community. The new club already has a small band of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers but it needs additional recruits.