Some of the nice things that our volunteers and friends have said about us and the work WiSE does in supporting the local community:
As a ‘Sunshine Cafe’ volunteer, it is a pleasure to see people living with dementia and their carers come together on a Wednesday afternoon to socialise, be entertained or involved in activities over a cup of tea and cakes. For many of our ‘friends’ who gather for two hours, it is a pleasure to get out of the house and mix with like minded people.
As a volunteer, I attend the ‘Sunshine Cafe’ in Collingham Village Hall each month, to help serve refreshments. Our ‘friends’ are very appreciative and seem to enjoy the afternoon’s activities. Carers are always keen to chat and enjoy in ‘normal’ conversations. To me, it is a fulfilling experience and I hope by taking time out to add a little variety and warm environment for our ‘friends’ , we are enriching their lives.
I think it’s great that a young volunteer is visiting Dad and I know my father very much enjoys and appreciates the time they spend together. Having someone visit is a very positive experience, especially in light of dad’s limited mobility. Many thanks for setting this up.
Dear All, just a little note to thank you and your volunteer befriender for all your help and support this year. It was very much appreciated.
Dear All, thank you so much for all the help you have given us with mum. We really appreciate the time and effort you have spent in advising us and pointing us in the right direction. The couple who have befriended her sound lovely and mum seems really happy.
Many thanks for your prompt attention, in helping me out with my garage door. I really appreciated the help
A big thank you for you and your team for erecting two new fence panels, the young boys did a great job, for which I am very thankful.
Case Study RE: Colin and Christine, WiSE Service Users-‘Friends’:
Colin is 85 years old. Born in Tadcaster and he moved to Wetherby as an adult, He ran a his own successful business hiring and selling industrial cleaning machines based on Thorpe Arch Industrial Estate and only handed his business over to his son a few years ago. He was only diagnosed with Vascular Dementia a year ago.
He lives with his wife Christine, they have been married 25 years this year. Christine is younger than Colin, still very active and able to drive. She is his sole carer, she helps him shower and get dressed every day and with Christine’s help Colin is able to live at home.
In 2015 Christine visited WiSE to enquire what services were in the area and explained that Colin had dementia. Christine attended our Dementia Awareness session, a session run by a trained WiSE staff member, and became a dementia friend. Christine and Colin became regular attendees at our social events in Wetherby. They attend Chairobics, The Howlers, The Elderberries and Chatter and Batter very frequently and we enjoy seeing them at our events.
Chairobics, run by WiSE every Friday helps Colin maintain his health and mobility keeping him active and, hopefully, ensuring less strain on NHS services. The Howlers, a singing event that Colin and Christine attend along with our Boston Tea Party and Rockin’ Robins singing groups, offer both a chance to meet other WiSE friend socially, have fun and sing, something we know is excellent stimulation for those living with dementia. Our Elderberries sessions offers both Colin and Christine a whole range of fun activities from which they benefit hugely.
Sadly, Colin’s condition has deteriorated. Christine knows she can talk to us, we will always offer her support. She has also gained help from WiSE through our Advice and Information Officer. Through the help of WiSE, Colin now has a blue badge which makes their day to day lives much easier. WiSE also signposted Christine, and assisted with the form completion, for her successful claim for Carers Allowance. Colin has also received valuable help from Action on Hearing Loss who attend our events to repair hearing aids.
In 2015 Christine had to have a knee operation. Colin is very popular at our events and we were keen here at WiSE that he didn’t miss out. We are always pleased to see him and Christine but whilst recovering she was unable to drive. WiSE organised for our dedicated transport scheme to pick them up, take them to the activities and drop them off so they still kept the familiar routine, very important for Colin, and didn’t need to miss anything that they enjoyed.
Christine now has respite when Colin attends Meet Up Mondays, the dementia café that WiSE run in partnership with Dementia Forward and funded via Leeds North CCG, giving her some much needed time to meet her daughter and go to the gym. Colin had been reluctant to join any groups but after a few visits he participates and enjoys attending the whole range of events and services WiSE offers.
Christine engages well with people and finds support from other wives and carers in the same situation. She has made friends with another a mother and daughter who attend our groups and had invited them to their house over the Christmas period.
Christine has indicated that in such times when her circumstances change, she would like to volunteer for us.
Christine on WiSE;
“They are ALWAYS THERE, WiSE help Colin and I to live well in our community and are always at the end of the telephone”.