Alzheimer's Support Group (Memories).

About 5 years ago I attended a help group funded by the NHS for Dementia sufferers and their carers. The meeting I attended was the last one as funding had been withdrawn but the people there felt there was a need for the help group to continue. This is how "Memories" started. About a dozen of us decided to look for somewhere to hold get - togethers.

It's amazing how difficult this is. Church halls and other public buildings wanted £20 - £30 per hour. It was then that the "Miners" came to our assistance. We meet fortnightly on a Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm and the club lets us use a room for free.

We are a self help group providing somewhere, for people who are faced with the daunting reality that they have an illness that wont get better, to meet others with similar problems. Because they can share their experiences with others who understand it makes life more bearable. We are able to help because we have been there ourselves. There are no rules. We usually collect a small amount which goes to pay for trips out or meals. Sometimes we have quizzes, often we sing, we always talk, we always laugh and we drink tea but this doesn't mean you cant have alcohol if you want. Sadly some of our original members are no longer with us, either because they are now in care or have passed on, but we know that for a while we have made their lives more bearable. Anyone is welcome.

Dave Ward, group leader