Andy is the founder of a new and innovative service which provides daytime activities for people living with dementia.
He has a wide experience of care services for older people including working as a home carer, providing support to enable people with dementia to stay in their own homes. As a result of his wife’s diagnosis with a rare form of vascular dementia in 2016 he is therefore acutely aware of how difficult life can be in trying to support a loved one and give them the best life has to offer.
His aim along with the rest of the Dementia Active team is to provide a safe and welcoming environment, where people with dementia can relax and join in activities designed to support and maintain their ability levels. Crucially this provides family members with some much needed time to themselves.
Andy has a particular interest in developing activities using the principles underlying Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST). This seeks to stimulate and utilise people’s cognitive strengths in order to help them maintain their lives in their own homes.
Melissa is a qualified primary trained teacher who has a long held interest in brain function. Initially this was from the perspective of the child’s developing brain, but in the last decade since the loss of her mother to vascular dementia she has focused on studying the decline in cognitive ability experienced by people with dementia. Of particular interest to her is the manner in which various forms of dementia impact in quite different ways upon brain function, along with the consequent limitations people experience in their daily lives.
A late career break in order to do a degree in ceramics has led to an interest in using the arts in dementia activities.
In recent years Melissa has had experience in the home care sector; has worked for the NHS in the Oxfordshire Supported Hospital Discharge Team (now known as HART) and also for the Alzheimer’s Society as an Advisor in North Oxfordshire. In this role it became clear that services which are able to offer stimulating activities for people with dementia but which also do not require the presence of a carer are very limited if non existent. For this reason she has chosen to join Dementia Active as it is able to offer just such a service and in particular is developing the use of Cognitive Stimulation Techniques (CST) for those with mild to moderate dementia.
From the London Stock Exchange to a degree in Education followed by eighteen years spent as a professional actor and then setting up and running a digital communications agency with a four million pounds annual turnover, Pat’s career has never followed a straight line. But he’s always held the firm belief that whatever we do in life is of value as long as we find a way to channel the experiences we have. Since retiring, he has, like many of us, seen first-hand the debilitating effects of dementia on parents and close relatives, which led to his involvement with Dementia Active, where he finds he can use his experience in a way that is worthwhile and rewarding and, probably more importantly for the groups, a lot of fun.
I am currently a member of the Rotary Club of Banbury and have been involved with many Charities now and in the past including Citizens Advice, Samaritans and Silver Line. Working with Dementia Active has probably been my best volunteering experience. Working and befriending the dementia group members is quite inspiring and very rewarding.
During my working life I was involved in education in some form or another. I qualified as a Counsellor after retiring working with Cruse, was a Samaritan for 14 years and currently work for Talking Newspapers and the Beacon Centre. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the Dementia Active organisation - it is one of the best things I have been involved in.
Barry has been involved in the care of people with dementia for a few years and now organises the transportation of our members who are unable to get to the groups by themselves.
Will House has been singing and entertaining audiences for years and is able to entertain people of all ages, from the little ones all the way to Granny and Grandad. He is committed to providing something for everyone to enjoy. Starting from a young age started singing the greatest swing hits from the golden oldies with Frank Sinatra to some modern day swing hits.
With his library of music extended he now has a large selection of songs that he uses to entertain the crowds, from The Beatles up to Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. And of course Frank is still in there too.
I specialise in entertainment for Residential, Nursing Care Homes as well as Adult Luncheon Clubs and Wellbeing Centres. I provide easy listening music from smooth and mellow Jazz to early 50's and 60's feet tapping songs, then spice it up with a little Reggae, in between pre-war sing-a-longs. I believe that interaction is so important, so I encourage the use of musical Instruments.
Soprano and multi-instrumentalist
Community Music Practitioner
Creative Dementia Arts Network - Development and music lead
Arts Award Advisor
"We hired Billy de Laine to perform for a handful of dementia clients, at Dementia Active, and what a fantastic entertainer and singer he is. Brilliant at interacting with the clients, even during some challenging behaviour! A true profesional. I would be happy to recommend him to any local groups who need entertaining."