Telling a good story – Dementia Reading Companions

Bob, a dementia reading companion

Bob: “I can tell a good story!”

We all love to hear a good story, but for people with dementia hearing a good story or poem read aloud can be more than just enjoyable – it can be a way to trigger memories and personal stories, open doors to feelings and build bridges to connect to their own past.

The Dementia Reading Companions are a group of volunteers who have been specially trained to lead hour long sessions for people with dementia. The volunteers prepare not only the material to read but a range of other resources, available from Kirklees Libraries and Information Centres, that link to the text and encourage people to make connections with their own lives and memories.

The project has attracted volunteers from lots of different backgrounds:

 

Bob Clarke saw the advert for volunteers in his local library. He thought: “I can tell a good story!” and immediately phoned up to apply. Bob describes himself as a true Yorkshire man who still does all his own DIY, except for replacing roof tiles as at the grand age of 92 he feels he shouldn’t climb on the roof. Bob is a retired fireman who spent many years working for the West Yorkshire Fire Service and for St James’s Hospital in Leeds as a fire training officer. He loves to read and tell stories, and his favourite poem is Lord Byron’s Semacherib. Bob runs a group at a care home in Gomersal, with fellow volunteer Adrian, and has run three sessions already. His first gave him good experience of heckling as someone called out “Get on with it!”

 

Susanna and Chris, dementia reading companions

Susanna and Chris

Susanna Shotter got involved because having spent the last few years at home being a mum, she was planning to return to work in the near future and thought volunteering would be a good route back. Susanna is an Occupational Therapist and has considerable experience running groups and working with people with dementia, something she feels passionate about. She is starting some sessions at a care home in Newsome. Susanna unexpectedly got more involved in the project than she had originally planned, when she stepped in to deliver some dementia awareness sessions as part of the volunteer induction training. As well as dementia awareness, the induction training covered how to run a group, listening skills, managing difficult situations and included input from Kirklees Libraries and Information Centres on resources available in local libraries to support the sessions.

 

Chris Loveday was drawn to the project because as a former English teacher he has a love of books and reading that he was keen to share, and the idea of using literature therapeutically was too good to resist!  Chris has yet to start his sessions but hopes to do so in the future.


 

Could you be a Dementia Reading Companion?

It’s an enjoyable, social role with immediate feedback!
Contact Chris Stephen on 01484 519053.
More info:
Dementia Reading Companions – Volunteering Kirklees

Masterclass: 21st Century Volunteers

In this first in our series of masterclasses for 2016, I’m In, Kirklees and Volunteering Kirklees are inviting you to hear national expert Rob Jackson talk about how we work with volunteers in a modern context – volunteering today is not the same as it was twenty years ago.

This session will look at some of the key ways in which society is changing and how these changes affect volunteerism. However, just exploring these changes isn’t enough, we will also discuss what leaders of volunteers can do to update their practices to accommodate these changes, further enhancing their engagement and retention of 21st century volunteers.

If you would like to come along, please sign up via Eventbrite. Please note that this is a FREE event:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/masterclass-understanding-and-engaging-21st-century-volunteers-rob-jackson-tickets-20037760481

 

 

 

The twelfth way of Christmas…

The twelfth day of Christmas...

Please volunteer and SHARE the #12ways on your social media. If you aren’t just the right person, maybe someone you know is!

One Good Turn support people in poverty and isolation. They are a very grassroots, locally-based charity who believe that one good turn deserves another. They believe getting people the practical help they need at the time they need it is the best way to make sure that next time round, they are the ones helping someone else.

The Yorkshire Choice Awards are a celebration of achievement in Yorkshire. One Good Turn have been nominated for the Charitable Business Award. Please take two minutes to vote for them: Vote for One Good Turn

Or, if you want to give time, money or stuff contact Amanda, Sophia or Jennie on 01484538700 or one.good.turn@hotmail.com Or via the webiste at One Good Turn

The eleventh way of Christmas…

The eleventh way of Christmas

Please volunteer and SHARE the #12ways on your social media. If you aren’t just the right person, maybe someone you know is!

Carers Count  is a charity that recognises that being a carer can impact on your day to day life: physically, mentally and emotionally. They aim to promote the wellbeing of carers by offering advice, information, training and support through different group activities.

If you are a carer or know someone who gives their time and energy unpaid to look after an adult family member or friend who needs support due to illness or disability, then please tell your GP the next time you go into the surgery. Because carers count, we need to count our carers!

For more information about their work visit their website: Carers Count

The tenth way of Christmas…

The tenth way of Christmas

Please volunteer and SHARE the #12ways on your social media. If you aren’t just the right person, maybe someone you know is!

Ruddi’s Retreat Café supports families affected by cancer and other serious illnesses as well as those bereaved. Through afternoon teas, coffees, sandwiches and a vintage sweet shop they make money to provide families affected by cancer with a holiday to help them come to terms with their situation. They have 2 caravans in Primrose Valley, Filey.

To keep up this great work they need volunteers to help run the cafe and ensure that they are running at a profit sooner than later. If you could give them a few hours of help, contact Kate on 01484 766050.

Ruddi’s Retreat

The ninth way of Christmas…

The ninth way of Christmas

 

Huddersfield Mission support people who find themselves in a sudden and immediate crisis or people who struggle to manage their life for a variety of reasons. Their clients find themselves on the margins of society because of financial poverty, drug and alcohol issues, temporary or on-going mental health problems, a history of offending, learning disabilities or simply a sudden life crisis.

One easy way you can help them is by purchasing a £3.50 meal deal voucher. You can then pass this on to someone in need, or the Mission will make sure it gets to someone who needs it. Along with a full meal there is the offer of advice and support.

Drop by the Mission or contact Paul on 01484 421461 or info@huddersfieldmission.org.uk

Huddersfield Mission

The eighth way of Christmas…

The eighth way of Christmas

Forget me Not Children’s Hospice cares for families who have a child with a life shortening condition.

They need volunteers to help their Christmas fundraising activities: bag packing in a supermarket or bucket rattling on the street on various dates in December.

If you can spare an hour, contact Lynsey on 01484 411040 or lynsey.marshall@forgetmenotchild.co.uk

Forget me Not Children’s Hospice

The seventh way of Christmas…

The seventh way of Christmas

 

Support to Recovery is a local mental health charity. They promote positive mental health and well-being by providing preventative, therapeutic services for individuals and their carers. And they really don’t want you to be SAD this Christmas…

During December and January they are working to make people aware of SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, a major cause of depression in the winter months. Pop in and try out a light box, or give 10 minutes of your lunch hour between 12 noon and 1pm handing out information.

If you can help, contact Paula on 07455677700 or paula@s2r.org.uk

Support to Recovery