It’s a shocking statistic: one in fourteen people over 65 suffer from dementia.
But that wasn’t my only reason for choosing Tenterden Memory Café as WBG’s designated charity when I became Chair three weeks ago.
I’ve witnessed both my parents succumb to this cruel illness, on occasions acting as my mother’s night-watchman, trying to prevent her from causing harm to others and, sometimes, herself. Listening out in the early hours for any sound of movement, there were times when sleep was brief and fitful.
I’ve seen how painful it is to watch a once-articulate loved-one rack her ravaged brain for a word, then give up in frustration and anguish.
And I know that the carers have a pretty difficult time of it, too.
The Memory Café, and its sister group Musical Memories, provide an invaluable facility for dementia sufferers and their carers. While their charges enjoy a generous slice of lemon drizzle or sing their hearts out, their minders can breathe, let off steam and enjoy a well-earned respite.
So, to me, it made sense to support a completely self-funded charity that exists to widen the scope of treats for those whose lives could so easily be joyless: outings to the coast, musical events, singing and, the community’s most recent venture, a film club.
Equally important, is that it’s here in the heart of Tenterden, where the Wealden Business Group meets every Wednesday. I was passionate that the group should support a charity that benefits the local community.
So, I’m thrilled that the Wealden Business Group has decided to support Tenterden Memory Café and I really look forward to getting going on our fund-raising events. We kick-off with a barbecue on 21 June at the Little Silver Hotel. There will be music, family entertainment and great food.
We’re also looking at ways we can help those with locally-based, young businesses, and in my next blog, I’ll be providing full details of this exciting new deal – so, watch this space!
Monica Janssens – Chair of Wealden Business Group