A support group for people suffering from memory loss and their carers has proved a success since setting up at Marden House in Calne two months ago.
The Calne Memory Group, run by volunteers and supported by the Wiltshire and Swindon Users’ Network, is for people of any age coping with the early stages of memory loss.
It aims to reduce feelings of loneliness by offering friendship and advice, and has been a lifeline for people such as Rachel Knight, of Linnet Road, Calne, who has multiple sclerosis.
Miss Knight, 41, started having problems with her memory around 2008.
She said: “At one point I didn’t go out at all – you get to the point where you get flustered and you just want to go home. You have to get over the fact that you can’t remember stuff, which is quite difficult. It’s nice to be among people who understand.”
The group organises activities for members, such as its upcoming visit from the Bobby Van Trust in June.
Mum-of-three Helen Carter helps care for her 66-year-old mum Marilyn Brown, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s two years ago. The 33-year-old from Quemerford said: “We’re grateful for a group in Calne. It’s great for mum because she needs the social time with people.
“It’s tough for her coping on a day-to-day basis knowing she can’t do as much as she could.”
Volunteer Jan Bird used to work with dementia patients in the community for the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust and is using her skills to help the group.
She said: “We’re newly established but it’s growing – word of mouth is getting out there.”
The group meets fortnightly at Marden House on a Thursday from 10am-noon. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01380 871800.