Helping Hands offers independence and community participation

Meet Dudley and Maureen: We started coming here towards the end of last year.

Dudley got diagnosed with mixed dementia. After having lots of meetings and talking to various organisations they told us about Armley Helping Hands. The Community Development Worker, Karen, came out to see us and we were asked to join the luncheon club and Memory Lane Group. And we’ve been coming ever since.

We get to meet lots of new people. It’s nice to be mixing with other members. The groups force us to get out of the house. The easiest thing is to stay at home. Especially when it’s winter, cold and dark and you’re tempted to stay put. But we still persevere even then.

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Dudley added: “I knew Maureen’s dad, we used to play dominoes together. She had been stuck indoors having broken her arm that winter. So he sent her to the pub, to keep me company. She wasn’t keen but thought at least she’d get a drink out of me! We played some dominoes and had a good chat. Her dad asked me to come back the next day and I did. We started out as very good friends and it developed from there.

My dad was always supportive of us as a couple. There’s seventeen years between us. My mam was another story. She said he’s too old, been married before and said it wouldn’t last. Forty-one years later and we proved them all wrong! Love can withstand anything.”

Armley Helping Hands is a local charity that supports older people by providing a variety of activities and services.

Having received a Lunch Club Grant from the foundation, they were able to provide a weekly meal and rare chance for the area’s older residents to interact. By providing advice, support and healthy living activities within the lunch clubs, they help more than 80 older residents to gain independence and actively participate in their communities.

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