A local group is helping those suffering with dementia in Levenshulme.
The Peter Quinn Friendship Group offers a place for those suffering with dementia and their carers to meet up and socialise. Around fifty people attend each session, and sessions are held every Wednesday at the Bethshan International Church on Crowcroft Road.
Sessions run from 11:00am to 2:45pm, and activities vary weekly, with anything from singing to playing cards or hand massages. They also run fundraisers; recently they ran a tombola and wooden toy sale, with the proceeds going towards future events and sessions.
Marion Quinn set up the group in memory of her father Peter Quinn, who suffered with the illness.
Dementia affects 1 in 6 people over the age of 80, and their are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. This number is expected to hit 1.6 million by 2040. Despite the large quantity of people affected by dementia and Alzheimers, there is currently no known cure.
Michelle Cantlif volunteers at the group, and has over twenty years experience working in nursing homes and hospitals. She also volunteers at Salford City Radio, which is how she first got in contact with the group.
“We do all sorts of activities. The people who come here can eat lunch, play bingo, sing. It’s absolutely amazing. Everyone is up dancing and smiling.
“It’s awful seeing your own family and friends suffer with the illness. A lot of people don’t know about the support networks out there, and it can be difficult accessing services.
“If we had a place like this in every town, it would take a lot of pressure off carers.
“It really is only because of the volunteers we can run a group like this, and the people who help out really are fantastic.” says Michelle.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in attending a session, the Peter Quinn Friendship Group meet every Wednesday at the Bethshan International Church. The group can be contacted through their Facebook page.