A CHARITY, Cotswold Friends, has stepped in, with the help of funding from Moore Friends, to prevent the closure of the Young at Heart Memory Club in Bourton-on-the-Water.

The club has been re-named the North Cotswolds Memory Club and supports anyone with concerns about their memory as well as those who care for people with memory difficulties.

Sharon cares for her mum Margaret who has dementia, and both are regulars at the club. Sharon said, “We are happy to be part of the sessions and join in the activities. If Cotswold Friends had not stepped in there is nothing else. I would have been left isolated with no social stimulation. The sessions are very friendly and we chat about anything.”

Lorna Stevens runs the club and is delighted it is to continue. Lorna commented, “The Club gives people the chance to come along, have conversations and meet others. The activities and equipment are designed especially for those with memory difficulties. We include armchair and breathing exercises, reminiscence work, quizzes, themed bingo, craft activities, card games and more. There are also refreshments and a lovely lunch. The important thing is that everyone has fun and we keep things light-hearted so that no-one feels awkward if they are struggling with their memory issues. We would love to have more members so please do get in touch if you think we can help.”

Bridget Salvage, Carer Respite and Befriending Manager said: “At Cotswold Friends we already offer one-to-one support for people living with dementia and their carers through our Carer Respite and Befriending services. Taking on the Memory Club is great as it gives us another way to help people with memory difficulties in our local communities. Our aim at Cotswold Friends is to combat loneliness and isolation and the Memory Club offers an informal, supportive environment for both attendees and carers to relax, socialise and enjoy the specially planned activities. Carers may also be able to take advantage of free carer respite and enjoy some much-needed personal time whilst those they care for are looked after at the club.”

The North Cotswold Memory Club runs every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at The Lounge, Market Close, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2HE, from 10.30am til 2.30pm and new members are welcome. For more information, please contact Lorna on Tel: 07971 929258 or email: lorna@cotswoldfriends.org