Alzheimer's centre needs volunteers
Strolls in the park, shooting some pool or simply sitting and listening to clients at Alzheimer's Marlborough in Blenheim are some of the activities volunteers take part in on a daily or weekly basis.
Alzheimer's Marlborough is a non-profit organisation formed to help and support carers and families dealing with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
The centre is looking for more volunteers to add to their pool of about 45, including Margaret Mills and Lowri McNabb, who have respectively been giving "a few hours" of their time to clients for about 18 months and eight years respectively.
Day centre supervisor Cheryl Hayward said more volunteers were required because of increasing demand due to Marlborough's ageing population. The centre looked after up to 16 clients a day, which gave their carers at home a break, she said. All volunteers received ongoing training and shared lots of fun moments with clients.
"We go for lots of outings – we've gone on the River Queen, and we've gone to ten-pin bowling, we've gone to watch the harvest at Brancott Estate, to the museums and galleries, Brayshaw Park and we take them out for afternoon teas."
Aside from the enjoyment of giving back to the community, Margaret said it was a great way to meet other like-minded people.
Helping clients with Alzheimer's or dementia at the centre was not as daunting as it sounded, Lowri said.
"I think when people think of dementia and that type of thing it can be a scary thought. But the reality is, it's at a very early stage. It's actually a very lively, fun environment.
"Even just sitting with them and talking to them, getting their histories, their stories about life – you get to learn about some really fascinating things."
Cheryl encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to get in contact and spend a few hours at the centre before committing themselves. "We understand it's not everyone's cup of tea, so it's good to just try these things out before jumping into anything."
For more information call 5776172, or pop into the office at 8 Wither Rd.
- The Marlborough Express