20 years ago there were very few services available for people living with dementia, and their Carers, and few places where they could go to get support and feel welcomed. For over 20 years a group of kind and caring people have been volunteering their time and energy to help make life a little better for people affected by dementia.
Four Volunteers in their 90’s – Gordon and Vera Bayls, Stan Day and Sheila Aitken, help out each week at the Carers Support groups in Meopham & Gravesend and are clocking up nearly 80 years volunteering between them. They are invaluable to the weekly running of the groups, offering help and support to those attending.
Without fail they arrive each week to set the chairs up and take the register, as well as organizing the weekly raffle and bingo session.
They are the first people new arrivals see and their friendly welcome has ensured the groups have grown and thrived, as they make everyone feel at home over tea and cake. Some have been Carers themselves, in the past, and understand the issues other Carers may be experiencing, providing invaluable insight and suggestions.
If people are unwell, or miss a few weeks, they are the first on the phone to see how people are. They believe in having fun and help organise monthly trips to either a restaurant, the Sea-side, a tea-shop for cream tea , or a Garden Centre (to name a few) which both Carers and the people they are caring for can attend.
Everyone at the group appreciates all they do and as they are getting older and some are stepping down from their volunteering role , this nomination is put forward to recognise the contribution they have all made over the years.