Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side is a new service that helps people with dementia to keep doing the things they love.
The UK’s leading dementia charity aims to reconnect people living with dementia with their communities and favourite pastimes. Side by Side was designed in response to Alzheimer’s Society research that shows people with dementia are more at risk of loneliness than the general population – with a third of people reporting to have lost friends since their diagnosis. Two thirds of people with dementia remain in their communities, but many feel trapped in their own homes – with almost one in 10 only leaving the house once a month.
Side by Side uses a new approach to volunteering, matching people through their shared interests. It has proved so popular with people living with dementia that the charity is urgently calling on more volunteers to be paired up.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side in East Lancashire urgently need volunteers to match, Side by Side, with people living with dementia; they are looking for volunteers to pair up with people affected by dementia who share a common interest, love or hobby.
From joining a local club, going to the football, or just going for a stroll in the park, this innovative service pairs people with dementia and volunteers who have something in common.
The top activities people with dementia want to do with a volunteer include:
- Walks to beaches and nature spots
- Visiting places of interest such as museums and art galleries
- Trips to garden centres
- Spending time chatting with someone over a cup of tea
Dorothy Parsons, Side by Side Co-ordinator for the East Lancashire area said:
‘Loneliness is a real problem for people with dementia, yet we know that one of the most important things for those affected is to remain part of their community and continue to do the things they love – from going shopping to enjoying a local football match.
‘Our Side by Side service, offering one to one support, is a vital step to making this a reality. Currently 850,000 people in the UK are living with the condition, so it’s vital that we all unite against dementia and do what we can to make a meaningful difference, such as becoming a volunteer.’
Current Side by Side volunteers have reported that they have gained and shared skills, developed new friendships and even enhanced their CV as a result of participating in the service. Side by Side is designed to be flexible so that anyone can sign up.
Anyone in the East Lancashire area interested in becoming a Side by Side volunteer can contact Kathryn Clay, East Lancs. Volunteering Officer by email Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0333 150 3456.
If you would like to find out more and become a Side by Side in your area please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/your-support-services/side-by-side or telephone 0300 222 11 22.
To access the Side by Side service, please visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/your-support-services/side-by-side-service-locations or telephone 0300 222 11 22.