How I do my bit: What I get from being active in my community

We ask people about how they keep active and well, whether they have dementia or not. This issue, we hear about making the world a better place.

Josie Gale, 37 in Greater London

I volunteer for a small charity in the borough that I work in. They support elderly and vulnerable people with a number of schemes, but I specifically volunteer for their befriending one. 

In normal times, I visit a lady in her 70s who lives on her own and is largely housebound because of a stroke. At the moment, all I can do is call her, but the charity is continuing to support her by doing shopping for her. 

I used to work for a charity but when I moved to a more corporate job, I wanted to do something which would give back to my local community, so that I’d still feel like I was doing my bit.

A benefit for me has been making several friends – with the lady I have befriended and with the people that work and volunteer at the charity.

Josie Gale

Josie wanted to give back to her local community.

Patrick Hawkins, 78 in Kent 

Having cared for my wife at home for the past nearly nine years, it has been a difficult and demanding time. We were declared eligible for NHS Continuing Health Care funding in October 2019 after an over two-year battle.

Whilst my priority is caring for my wife, now with adequate care funding, I have some time to help others living with dementia. 

I have contacts through being a member of my GP’s Patient Participation Group, churches, local community care and retired health professionals. Through these introductions, I have been able to help others at the beginning of their journey living with dementia. 

I’ve had great satisfaction in being able to help others based on my experiences of living and studying dementia. 

Kerry Allan, 39 in East Yorkshire 

As a youth worker, I am part of a coalition that works with all the youth services in my area to get the very best for children. This summer, I was part of a project that provides lunches for families in Goole who needed them to stop holiday hunger. 

We opened this up to everyone, and after eight weeks of daily lunches we had served 2,000 to the children and their families in my area. 

I see there is a real need for this service and a couple of hours a day is not a lot to change people’s lives in a small way.

Chyanne Hooks

Chyanne meets fascinating people through volunteering.

Chyanne Hooks, 24 in Essex 

I volunteer for two charities on a regular basis, while helping with fundraising activities for others. 

Volunteering was something we were encouraged to do by the school. I was a child member of Girlguiding, so it was a natural progression to become part of the leadership team.

I started volunteering for my local theatre because I’m passionate about the industry and want to work in it but need experience. 

I get to learn new skills, meet fascinating people and generally have a good time. My volunteering shifts tend to be in the evening, so I can fit it around working and caring for my nan, who has dementia. 

Stay well 

Some things, like your age and genes, affect your chance of developing dementia but you can’t change them. Things you can change? Keep your mind and body active, enjoy healthier food, don’t smoke, drink less alcohol, stay in touch with people, and deal with any health problems. 

If you already have dementia, the same things can help you to stay healthy and well – see our inspiration and tips to get active in ways that suit you.

NHS Live Well has health and wellbeing advice for everyone.

We need your help

We can’t keep our phone lines open or manage the increase in demand for our services without urgent financial support. Please donate today – with your help, we can show people living with dementia that they aren’t alone.

Donate now

Dementia together magazine: Dec 20/Jan 21

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now
Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
Subscribe now

1 comment

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Why do people with dementia also have OCD,check locks,doors,even frequent visits to toilet by that I mean about six to eight times but not really needing to go,also money,checking ect the list is endless.

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