Rutland Reminders is a local group of dedicated Volunteers, formed in 2010, for people with dementia and their carers. We meet monthly to sing old, well-loved songs and afterwards chat over tea.
On the third Tuesday of each month we meet in Oakham; on the second Tuesday each month we visit Aberdeen House in Uppingham, and on fourth Tuesdays we have a variety of meetings: Training Days; Management Committee Meetings; Singsongs for Volunteers; and our AGM in June.
We are concerned to support our Guests with dementia and their carers at our monthly sessions. To quote Oliver Sacks in Musicophilia, page 336, ‘music therapy seeks to address the emotions, cognitive powers, thoughts, and memories, the surviving “self” of our Guests with dementia. It aims to enrich and enlarge existence, to give freedom, stability, organisation and focus’.
To those lost in dementia we find music can have a power beyond anything else to restore them to themselves, and to others, at least for a while. To be able to offer such ‘joy in the moment’ is very heartening, to Carers and Volunteers alike.
We do not offer advice; rather we listen carefully, and try to respond appropriately. Our Guests with dementia come from all parts of Rutland, England’s smallest county. We are very mindful that there are over 800 people with dementia in our county population of 35,000.
Having started our sessions in Oakham in September 2010 with 12 guests with dementia we doubled our capacity with a second monthly session for a new group of guests from Spring 2011. In 2015 our average attendance at sessions was 29: Guests; Carers; and Volunteers. At our fifth Christmas party in December 2015 we welcomed over 50 people; in May 2015 our Open Day in Uppingham attracted 58 people.
We still provide support to only some 10% of those with dementia in Rutland, so a large part of our committee’s work is spreading the word about the dementia in general as well as the sessions we run. Our sessions in Oakham are on the third Tuesday of each month at Brambles, Rutland Care Village.
Rutland Reminders Outreach visits Aberdeen House, 20 Stockerston Road, Uppingham LE15 9UD on the second Tuesday of each month at 2pm. Here we are the guests in the home of those with dementia. If you wish to join us please contact Diana Ellard on 07779 413889.
There is no charge for what we offer. We are grateful to our many sponsors, and to the Rutland Care Village for their hospitality from month to month.
In 2012 we became a Registered Charity, No. XT 36890. In May 2013 we were adopted as his Sponsored Charity by Councillor Adam Lowe, Mayor of Oakham. In October 2013 we were nominated for the ‘Inspired in Rutland’ Award, a testament to all our dedicated volunteers. For 2014-15 we were adopted by the Langham and Barleythorpe Women’s Institute as their ‘Charity of the Year’.