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Summer 2016

Food and friendship at two Barrow churches


An estimated 850,000 people in Britain have dementia. It’s a disease that is difficult for both those who suffer from it and their carers - and it can be isolating. However, two groups in Barrow are providing opportunities for those aff ected by dementia to socialise.

In the Trinity Rooms, adjacent to Holy Trinity Church, TLC lunch clubs are held on the last Thursday of the month, except in August and December. TLC stands for Trinity Lunch Club or Tender Loving Care, whichever you prefer, and the lunches began in May 2015.

Open to all residents of the Barrow Upon Soar area, they were started by Pam Brown, in conjunction with Karen Frostick and Joanne Clarke of John Storer House, Loughborough, and are for carers and those who they care for. Pam says the carers, in particular, enjoy being able to relax and enjoy a meal prepared by someone else, while they talk to others in similar circumstances and share experiences. Those who are being cared for get to know others within the group. All enjoy going out for a meal, something they would have done before circumstances changed and can do so again in a relaxed situation.

Some people are newly diagnosed, whilst others are further along in their dementia journey. Guests pay £6.50 each for a two-course lunch, followed by coffee or tea. “We take a note of anyone who has special dietary requirements and cater accordingly, either for the whole group or individually,” explains Pam. “We are always pleased to welcome new members and currently have a core support group of four helpers but if anyone would like to offer help, in particular with the preparation in the kitchen, we would be delighted to hear from them." Pam can be contacted by email at p.m.brown@icloud.com or by phone on 07809 776 425.

Barrow upon Soar Methodist Church holds a drop-in cafe called Sweet Memories, on the second and third Mondays of the month, between 2pm and 4pm. It is a friendship group for anyone affected by dementia. As well as tea and homemade cake, it offers drop-in activities like jigsaws, knitting, dominoes, drawing and colouring and a range of informative literature. There are plans, when the group grows and becomes more established, to include speakers, advice sessions and more structured activities, depending on what members would like.

“We welcome everyone,” says lay pastor Margaret Williams. “You don't need to be a Methodist or live in Barrow.”

For more information, phone 01509 828020 or email pastor@barrowmethodist.org.uk

Lindsay Ord