Alzheimer’s Society in Bristol urgently need volunteers to match, Side by Side, with people living with dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side service in Bristol is looking for volunteers to pair up with people affected by dementia who share a common interest, love or hobby.
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, which is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, uses a new approach to volunteering by 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.
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 with shared interests.
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
Melanie Allford, Alzheimer’s Society Side by Side Coordinator for Bristol 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 in Bristol offering one to one support, is a vital step to making this a reality. There are estimated to be more than 4,600 people living with dementia in Bristol, 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 – a telephone service is also available so people with limited time can also volunteer.
Anyone interested in becoming a Side by Side volunteer or would like to access the service should visit alzheimers.org.uk/sidebysidevolunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01179 610 693.