Paul is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Banbury and has been involved with many Charities now and in the past including Citizens Advice, Samaritans and Silver Line. Working with Dementia Active has probably been the most interesting volunteering experience. Working and befriending the dementia group members is quite inspiring and very rewarding.
During Jenny's working life she was involved in education in some form or another. Jenny qualified as a Counsellor after retiring from Cruse, and was a Samaritan for 14 years and currently works for Talking Newspapers and the Beacon Centre. Jenny thoroughly enjoys being part of the Dementia Active organisation - She says, " It is one of the best things she have been involved in."
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.
My given name is Gerard, but people call me Ged. I was born in Stretford, Manchester, in January 1956. I moved to Oxford, with my family, in 1966 and, apart from 15 years living abroad, have lived in Oxfordshire since.
I spent my working life in research and development, working as a chemist, first for the government and then at the Banbury laboratory of the Canadian Aluminium company, Alcan.
I live in Bloxham, with my wife Lynn. We are both retired, and my interests include, playing the guitar, working with wood, DIY (not really an interest, we own an old house), and listening to music.
I became aware of Dementia Active through meeting a current volunteer, Pat Moore. Pat and I met around two years ago and regularly get together to play guitar and generally make a racket. I wanted to volunteer and play a small part to support this groups valuable work.
Pam is a qualified nurse who worked for a period at Wardington Nursing Home which specialises in dementia care. Since her retirement she has devoted herself to voluntary work in the community. She has supported children in the classroom in two local primary schools for six years and also works as a volunteer for the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service at the Cornhill Centre in Banbury. Her role there involves visiting and befriending people who by virtue of their age and disabilities, including dementia, have become socially isolated.
Jo has been a foster carer for young people with special needs, a helper with local Beavers and Cubs groups and has for some years been a carer for her mother who has dementia. Jo joined a Dementia Active group as a volunteer in order to give her mother the one to one support she needed to be able to continue attending.
Molly from a young age has had an interest in supporting people with different abilities, working with deaf people, people with severe learning difficulties and those in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Molly's main focus in life is performing arts holding a degree in drama and wishes to create entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
Molly says, "My family and friends are very important to me and I value honesty – I won’t hold back my opinions, and I appreciate the same attitude in others! On the whole, I’m a practical person who learns by doing."
After spending several years in the service industry, Joe developed an interest in the economics of working relationships. He believes that care work is the most important, yet undervalued, form of work in our society, which is reflected in his time spent volunteering with people affected by conditions like MS and dementia. In 2017, he abseiled down Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower to raise money for the Solent MS Therapy Centre. His focus on the social division of labour is also reflected in Joe's academic pursuits, and he is currently writing about the new working relationships of the digital platform economy.