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Stories of the Side By Side Project

The Side By Side Project is a befriending service in Lambeth Alzheimer’s Society, and we are looking for volunteers to help people with dementia to continue to do the things they love. 

Side by Side connects people living with dementia with local volunteers, with similar interests and hobbies providing support in person or over the phone.

We wanted to share with you some stories about volunteers of Side by Side project.

Arthur (left) and Dean (right) meeting Princess Alexandra before Dementia Action Week, 19th May 2018.

Arthur and Dean

Arthur lives in Stockwell in South East London. Arthur has Alzheimer’s disease and was diagnosed in September 2017.

Arthur and Dean (Side by side volunteer) have been paired since October 2017, and they go to the local pub together in Stockwell where they meet up with Arthur’s friends and enjoy a pint. Dean has also enabled Arthur to attend a club he used to go to, but since the diagnosis and issues with his mobility he was finding it increasingly difficult before he was matched with Dean. Arthur and Dean have developed a strong bond and have become friends.

Arthur has always been very clear about what he wanted from a volunteer – Someone who is patient and easy going with a sense of humour and someone who will support him with his walking as he is not too steady on his feet. Arthur says “Dean has enabled me to continue to do the things I love” and isvery thankful to the Alzheimer’s society’s Side by Side Project for finding Dean.

 

Rosemary and Eilish

Rosemary has had a diagnosis of AD, since January 2016. She lives with her husband Michael in their own house in West Norwood. She is very independent although Michael will do the majority of the cooking and cleaning. Rosemary enjoys going for walks, she says she likes to walk fast so her son John will come visit and they will go for speedy walks.

Rosemary has been enabled to continue this with the support of her Side By Side volunteer Eilish. They have been matched since March 2016. Eilish and Rosemary meet every Monday late mornings for a couple of hours and have been doing so for nearly two years. Since Rosemary has been using the service she has reconnected with old friends. Rosemary and Eilish have often gone shopping together when they have a particular item of clothing they need to buy. They sometimes go to a café and have a cup of tea and a slice of cake. She used to work in schools as a teaching assistant, helping with reading and doing crafts and painting, sewing etc. She is also a very talented dressmaker and has created some fantastic designs. Rosemary says “Eilish is the only woman friend of my age that I can have a girly chat with”.

For further information or to apply for this volunteering opportunity, contact Janet Clarke, Side by Side Manager for Lambeth, on 020 7735 5850 or email janet.clarke@alzheimers.org.uk

 

 

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