Volunteers From Cornwall College Bring Back Patient Memories

The following news story was written for Hook

Volunteers are turning back the clock for Dementia patients every Wednesday at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (RCH) in Truro.

Every week, trained RCH League of Friends volunteers, including three Cornwall College students, watch old movies, play old board games and drink a cup of tea with Keresena Ward’s Dementia Patients.

The RCH Fundraising Manager Jessica Silye told Hook: “We would not be able to run the memory cafe without the three students. They are sweet young women who are really keen to be going in and helping.”


©RCH League of Friends
©RCH League of Friends


Chaplaincy, pastoral-care-assistant and volunteer organiser Claire Burgess told Hook that the volunteers have come up with “great ideas” and are “very motivated and enthusiastic.

The ‘Memory Trolley’ is one of many ways Cornish people have tried to help Dementia patients, after the success of the Memory Cafes dotted around the county, and with more than 35,000 hours given by volunteers, the public has become an indispensable resource.

Memory Cafe visitor Norman Harrison told Hook: “The volunteers are always so friendly, warm and welcoming, they all work so hard to make sure we have a good time.

“I get to do lots of activities I wouldn’t usually do and meet lots of different people. At my age you can get very lonely especially if you are a widower like me, so I think it is fantastic.”

Dementia is a disease that affects an estimated 850,000 in Britain and the figure is expected to double in the next 20 years. The goverment recently announced that £150 million funding would go to the United Kingdom’s first Dementia Research Institute.

Prime Minster David Cameron said in a statement that the institute is another great step that will develop “cutting-edge research” tools and help defeat Dementia.


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