Helping people with dementia

As it's Dementia Awareness Week we spoke to Sheila, one of our volunteers, about what she has been doing to help people living with dementia.

How long have you been a volunteer at St Joseph’s?

All in all it’s been around 20 years. I used to work in the tea bar one evening a week but now due to my health I do a job where I can sit down, helping the Fundraising Team with admin. I work with Frances on claiming Gift Aid on our donations as this can bring in thousands of pounds of extra money.
I also man the registration desk at the jumble sales and if I could have a chair I would really like to do bucket shakes again.

Why did you choose St Joseph’s?

Many years ago I worked in an office at the Housing Association and a guy used to come in to visit my manager. He talked a lot about his volunteering at St Joseph’s and said he loved it so I thought I would give it a go. I hadn’t known anyone that had died here so I didn’t have that personal connection. But I wanted to give something back to my local community and this seemed liked the perfect opportunity to do that.

What did you do for Dementia Awareness Week?

I was talking to someone I know about twiddle muffs and decided to have a go at making them myself. I have so much wool, buttons and bits and pieces in my house that drive my husband mad so I decided to put them to good use. I knit while I’m watching the TV.

The idea of them is to give people with dementia something to do with their hands. Twiddle muffs are very tactile, with different materials, shapes and things you can fiddle with. I always make sure that everything is sewn on really well so they’re safe to use.

How long will you continue at St Joseph’s?

As long as I can get here I will keep on coming. But saying that, there are things you can also do at home to help St Joseph’s. Knitting for example, or looking through your wardrobes and donating unwanted clothes or bits and pieces for the Jumble Sales.

We would like to hear from you