Alzheimer’s Club Celebrates Its Silver Jubilee

8th October 2014

A club in Sheffield for people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia is celebrating its 25th Birthday.  Back in 1989 Alzheimer’s was a little known problem with a very low public profile.  It began when Shirley Taylor, a High Green resident and a member of St Saviour’s Church, experienced the frustrations and challenges of dementia in her own family.  In response to this she inspired a group of people in High Green to help set up a support group.  The result was “The Thursday Club” and this has met weekly at in High Green, for the last eleven years at St Saviour’s Church, ever since.  The club offers a day for people who have the condition to meet and to take part in a wide variety of activities, many designed to help delay the progress of their situation.  This, plus having a meal together, helps support people with dementia, as well as offering a day of respite to their carers once a week.  The club is held in high esteem by many agencies but sadly has a waiting list as numbers have to be limited.

Dorothy Wood is the leader of the Thursday Club and an original team member.  She said, “When we started the club in 1989 we had no idea that we would still be running all these years later.  Working with those who live with Alzheimer’s is challenging at times but we have a lot of fun.  The club only manages because we have such a great team of volunteers and I’m very grateful to all of them, past and present.”

Canon Simon Bessant, the Vicar of St Saviour’s said, “Alzheimer’s is now a recognised condition in our society, but it was very different twenty five years ago.  St Saviour’s has worked in partnership with the volunteers who run the club over those years and we are committed to continue in the years ahead.  Dementia is a huge challenge for those live with the condition and to the rest of our society.  I am full of admiration for the team who run the project and for their sustained commitment over so many years, especially to Shirley and Dorothy who were part of the original team.”

The Thursday Club is celebrating its Silver Jubilee Anniversary with a Celebration Event at St Saviour’s Church High Green on Saturday 11th October at 2.00pm.  The Bishop of Doncaster is launching the event and the team look forward to welcoming past and current members plus their families.

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