Memory Lane

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Christine Moulton, helping those with memory loss.

 

WANTED: Volunteers

There can be few people who have never known or met those affected by memory loss. As our population and life expectation increase, the difficulties of old age touch the lives of many families and memory impairment can manifest itself in many ways. There are various forms of dementia; Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia are probably the best known. These illnesses can manifest themselves in different ways but perhaps one common feature, other than patchy memories and recall, is the confining nature of the illness. This can be equally distressing for the sufferer and those who care for them.  All parties can struggle to pursue a normal life and activities. There are no simple solutions in times of public austerity when funding has been cut and reduced to such an extent there is limited social provision. However, the need for patience, kindness, understanding and social opportunities continues to exist. The human ability to communicate is one of our defining characteristics and the need continues even when ability diminishes.

Christine Moulton is a woman motivated by experience and compassion to help those affected by the impact of cognitive impairment, caused by dementia. It is not just the sufferers but also the Carer’s who require support. At this year’s annual Parish Meeting[1], she took the opportunity to talk about a ‘Memory Lane’ project she would like to establish for local Dementia sufferers. Where did this idea come from and what does it need to make it work?

You may be aware Felixstowe declared itself a town working towards being Dementia friendly at the start of 2019. Christine’s involvement began with the Trimley Methodist Church Christmas Quiz, held at the end of last year. After the event, there was a discussion about who might benefit from the £175 the Quiz managed to raise.  Jenny, the Church Steward, suggested the recipients might be the newly formed Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance[2]. As Christine explained, it would have been easy to send the money in an envelope but instead it was her decision to deliver it in person to the Salvation Army’s Memory Lane Group, who meet every Friday at the Salvation Army Church in Cobbold Road.  The organiser is Sally Gallant and the subsequent conversation with her aroused Christine’s interest. It led her to make enquiries about the possibility of establishing a local village group, based in Trimley Methodist Church Hall. The Church Hall is used four mornings a week by Twinkletoes Playgroup but Christine thought it could also be used one afternoon a week by a Memory Group.

One thing leads to another. Sally Gallant put Christine in touch with Sue Edmonds, who looked at the premises and confirmed their suitability. With a ramp which allows for easy wheelchair access, the Methodist Church is a sound venue. Sue’s involvement created another step forward for Christine, as it provided an introduction to Sue’s daughter Chloë, an Area Supervisor who runs Dementia workshops.

In theory, the Trimley Memory Lane Group is ready to start and Christine is looking forward to organising the opening. However, the project lacks some vital resources and it may be local people could help to set the Project in motion. Firstly, money would help although the premises will be provided free of charge. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it is people who are needed to make the whole thing work. Volunteers are required to make simple refreshments such as tea and coffee. More people are needed who are willing to socialise and chat with the visitors.  Future activities might include live music. Do you know someone who can play a musical instrument to entertain the guests? Or a display of photographs about various local   topics. Do you have some of Trimley which you would be prepared to share with other people? As Christine pointed out recent, short term memories are easily forgotten. The ones which are remembered are those from people’s youth or childhood.

The whole exciting project needs to be finalised. Christine is hoping to start in September 2019. The day and times need to be firmed up but at the moment Tuesday afternoons between 1.30 and 4.00 p.m. are being considered. If enough people volunteer, it may be possible to devise a rota which would enable to the work to be shared out.

Dementia is a cruel illness. Anyone of us could fall prey to its’ indiscriminate attack and be in the same position as those Christine is proposing to help. If you feel able to contribute in anyway at all, your services will be warmly welcomed. It is unlikely to be onerous or overly time constricting. It does hold the promise of being a rewarding and happy experience.

If you are interested, please contact Christine on:

01394 273290

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If you have any comments or would like to be part of this Trimley St. Martin project, please contact me at:

trimleystmartinrecorder@gmail.com

LR  31/05/2019

 

[1] Read  more about the Annual Parish Meeting by following the link: http://trimleystmartin.onesuffolk.net/assets/Uploads/Annual-Parish-Meeting-Minutes2.pdf

[2] https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/news/felixstowe-to-become-dementia-friendly-town/

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