SMART Cranleigh Learning Café for volunteers supporting Memory Lane and working in the community with people living with dementia

Fun, learning, sharing experiences with lots of hospitality and cake! Caremark hosted a community learning evening for a number of Cranleigh residents interested in learning more about dementia to feel more confident in their voluntary roles

The purpose of the evening was to help people to understand the basics of communication techniques and what to be aware of, along with the different stages of dementia and how to provide a meaningful engagement for people who have different levels of abilities. This included the importance of interest and not providing things that are too difficult or easy for the person for maximum impact. This session was run by Elly Colomb a resident of Cranleigh who a Speech and Language Therapist is, and Rosemary an Occupational Therapist.  There were representatives from the Parish Church Pastoral team along with volunteers from the wider community. There are about 17 people with their carers and about 15 volunteers in support of Memory Lane which runs fortnightly on the first and third Monday and a weekly Friday group at the Leisure Centre.

It was great to experience such high levels of sharing and engagement between the volunteers who seemed to find the learning fun and seemed reluctant to leave. Such a refreshing group to teach- interested and fully engaged with lots of participation and questions.

Is this the beginning of a Cranleigh COMM university – where the public can learn in an informal setting more about how to keep well and support others around them. There is definitely a germ of something here!

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