Warm welcome

There is a 'Neuro drop-in centre' in Lancaster.
There is a 'Neuro drop-in centre' in Lancaster.

May I be allowed to share with your readers a small but significant ‘discovery’ that has greatly improved our daily lives.

I am a full-time carer for my wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and osteo-arthritis, so our daily options can be somewhat limited.

However, some weeks ago when walking in the Williamson Park area we noticed a sign board at the junction of Quernmore Road and Stone Row Head. The sign bore the legend ‘Neuro Drop-In Centre and Cafe, all welcome’.

Intrigued by the curious name we decided to investigate. Following the signs along Stone Row Head we eventually came to a large stone building on the right, bedecked in bunting.

Not knowing quite what to expect we entered with some trepidation. We need not have worried. As soon as we crossed the threshold we were greeted with cheery hellos from those inside.

The cafe was light and airy and had a warm and friendly atmosphere. We found a table and placed our order from the menu of home-made food and confectionary.

As we waited for our order a lady approached our table on a mobility scooter and began to engage us in conversation. She introduced herself as Sharon Jackson (herself an MS sufferer), the founder and director of the Neuro Drop-In Centre.

She told us all about the history and future aims for the centre. How she, along with her splendid group of volunteers, want to improve the quality of life for those people suffering from all types of neurological disorders and to offer respite for their carers by setting up a carers circle where carers can get together and share experiences.

We were so impressed with Sharon’s story that we vowed to return, which we did and continue to do so on a regular basis, myself to volunteer and my wife to take part in some of the activities available, including gentle keep fit and relaxing yoga, where she has made new acquaintances.

There are numerous other activities depending on the day, with more planned in the future.

The Neuro Drop-In Centre has recently celebrated its first anniversary and, as the centre becomes more established, even more activities such as a ‘growing area’ and a ‘blokes’ shed’ are planned.

It is fair to say that ‘discovering’ the centre has really improved our daily lives and we would like others in a similar position to benefit as we have done.

There has been much negative coverage in the media recently with regard to lack of care for those with disabilities and dementia, loneliness and the centralisation and withdrawal of those facilities supposed to help such people. So there is increasing need for places like the Neuro Drop-In Centre.

The centre is open for absolutely everyone – and their dog. If you wish to sit quietly in a cosy corner with a drink and a magazine – fine.

If you prefer to take part in an activity – great.

The Neuro Drop-In is a great place to meet up and make new acquaintances.

It can sometimes be a little daunting to step outside your comfort zone to try something new. But take courage and give the centre a try.

You may, like us, be pleasantly surprised. At the Neuro Drop-In centre everything is possible.

Name and address supplied.