A group aimed at supporting people with dementia in the Lancaster district has been launched.
Lyrics and Lunch is a fortnightly group which offers dementia sufferers and their carers a chance to take part in singing and musical activities and enjoy a lunch with others.
Jeanette Main, works with older people at St Thomas’s Church in Lancaster and is also a peripatetic music teacher in schools, said: “The idea first came about in the spring. I was reading about how music can help dementia patients and I thought it was something I could do.”
Together with fellow churchgoer at St Thomas’s in Lancaster, Ellen Worsley, Jeanette arranged to work in conjunction with St Chad’s Church in Torrisholme Road to hold fortnightly meetings.
“Music is known to be very beneficial to dementia sufferers, especially using older songs that they know and enjoy,” Jeanette said.
“We sing and do musical activities and then have a lunch of home made soup, sandwiches and cakes together afterwards.
“We chose to have it at St Chad’s because we were told that something like this was particularly needed with access for those who live north of the river.
“We are also very pleased that we are able to work with St Chad’s and have team members from both churches.”
Since starting out at the end of September by advertising in local churches and doctors’ surgeries, the group has blossomed and now has more members than it can fit in the church hall at any one time.
Instead, it is now hoped that two overlapping groups can instead be held.
Jeanette said: “It’s absolutely humbling to see people enjoying the group.”
“The group is already full and we are thinking about expanding in the New Year.
“It is lovely to see both dementia patients and carers taking part and enjoying themselves. We have had such positive feedback.”
The group’s Christmas gathering, including a visit from the handbell ringers from Morecambe, was held on Tuesday.
The group is open to dementia sufferers and their carers (carers must attend), and costs £2.50 per person, to cover the costs of lunch.
For more information or to attend the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone St Thomas’s Church office on 01524 590410.
You can also find more details on the church website at www.st.tees.org.uk.