Hitchin dementia club appeals for members and volunteers after launch

Suzi Duxbury club co-ordinator and Linda Snape scheme manager are based at the Letchworth GC dementi

Suzi Duxbury club co-ordinator and Linda Snape scheme manager are based at the Letchworth GC dementia club - Credit: Archant

A club that supports people with dementia has been launched after receiving a £10,000 grant and is appealing for members and volunteers.

Howard Cottage Housing Association and Hertfordshire Community Meals launched Hitchin’s Kingfisher Club at Walsworth Community Centre on Woolgrove Road on Tuesday.

The club – which will run every Tuesday and support people with low to moderate dementia – was set up with a £10,000 grant from Hertfordshire County Council’s Public Health Partnership Fund.

The new group is modelled on Letchworth GC’s Kingfisher Club, which launched in September last year.

Both clubs provide a variety of fun, stimulating activities that are designed to prolong memory, encourage movement and improve members’ quality of life – everything from painting and singing to chair yoga and manicures. They also offer a chance for people with dementia to get out of the house for the day, meet up with friends and enjoy a tasty lunch.


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Helen Cairns, customer care manager at Howard Cottage, said: “Living with dementia can be very isolating, so we hope that Hitchin’s new Kingfisher Club will provide a break from the daily routine for local people with the condition, and some respite for their carers.

“The clubs are great for carers too, of course – knowing that their loved ones are having fun in a safe environment gives them the confidence and the freedom to take time out and do something for themselves.”

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Sarah Wren, chief executive of Hertfordshire Community Meals, said: “We are a charitable social enterprise so it’s fantastic to find a like-minded partner such as Howard Cottage. By working together, we can combine the skills of both organisations to extend services to vulnerable local people.”

Jacquie Hime, who chairs the North Hertfordshire Health and Wellbeing Partnership, said: “Our partnership distributes Herts County Council’s Public Health Partnership Fund to the districts. We were all very impressed with the Kingfisher Club proposal put forward by Howard Cottage and Hertfordshire Community Meals.

“Both partners were clearly very committed to ensuring that they delivered the best possible service at the best possible value for money, so we ended up giving them the entire £10,000 pot for the district. I’m delighted that the funding is now being used to provide a lovely Kingfisher Club in Hitchin, where there is a recognised need for the service.”

Anyone interesting in joining or volunteering at the club should contact Helen Cairns on 01462 683307.

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