Friday 25th November 2016 was the date for the first year anniversary celebration at Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre with around 8o people attending. Members of the community including those involved in the Advisory Group some of whom had signed the Meeting Centre pledge a year ago, and most importantly those who attend the Centre were welcomed to the event by Alzheimer’s Society Manager Gill Read.
It was wonderful to hear from members and family caregivers about their experiences over the year, some of who were not sure about the Centre at the start but who have since found it to be a very valuable and important source of support, friendship and enjoyment – ‘the friendship it brings to all of us is marvellous.’ Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, spoke about the MeetingDem project, how far we have come and how we might move forward with a sustainable funding model. There is a vision for a Centre in every town.
We also heard from Colin Capper, Head of Research Evaluation and Development at the Alzheimer’s Society about how the society will help support Meeting Centres in the future.
Gill introduced Sam Arnold, the Meeting Centre Manager who together with his amazing team of staff has spearheaded this innovative and essential service. Many people were thanked during the event and it has been a fantastic team effort but at the end of the day it is all about the members, they are the people who make it what it is.
Proceedings were rounded off with a welcome cup of tea and coffee and cake. It’s hard to believe we have been open over a year already. It has been an exciting and challenging journey but I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it. May there be many Happy Returns!