Side by Side Memory Group

“This group has been a revelation to me - I’ve got my life back”
“It has pulled me out of a hole and made me whole again”
“The group gives me confidence to face the week”
“I don’t want to go home - I want to stay here and eat crumpets!” 
These are some of the comments made by people who have been attending a Side by Side Memory Group in Kirkburton.  They are all people who are experiencing memory problems, and many of them live alone.  The challenge of living with a memory that lets you down can leave you feeling discouraged and isolated, confidence is eroded and life can lose its promise.  Bringing people together in a small group every week to talk, share a meal, have fun and take part in a variety of activities, has proved to help in many ways.  We have formed close friendships which enable us to share the experience of memory loss, swap coping strategies, and gain understanding about what dementia is, and how to live with it in a positive and life enhancing way.  Over the last year members of the group have repeatedly said to me “Jean, there needs to be more groups like this”.  I have taken them at their word, and, having left the Kirkburton group in very good hands, I am now launching out to establish groups in other local communities, starting with Kirkheaton.  
The Kirkheaton group meets every Friday at the Parish Centre, opposite St John's Church on Church Lane, from 10.30 am to 3 pm, for anyne in the Kirkheaton. Almondbury and Dalton area who feels it would help them. Refreshments and a midday meal are provided.
Keeping it local and small is the best way to ensure a sense of community and continuity, particularly if we can find local help in the form of drivers who could provide transport (mileage paid), and volunteers to provide support and friendship, make coffee, help to make a good midday meal, and help to run the activities and group discussions. Please come and help if you have an hour, or a day, to spare.  
Please get in touch if you are struggling with memory problems, or if you know someone who is.
Jean Fry