The Alzheimers Society Interview, Herefordshire Branch

PUBLISHED: 20:19 08 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:09 20 February 2013



Dementia is a destructive and debilitating illness, both for sufferers and their families. It is estimated that in Herefordshire there are well over 2,000 elderly people and more than 50 younger ones suffering with dementia. At present there is st...

Dementia is a destructive and debilitating illness, both for sufferers and their families. It is estimated that in Herefordshire there are well over 2,000 elderly people and more than 50 younger ones suffering with dementia. At present there is still no cure.

Our branch, founded in 1989 by Dr Nicholas Wagner, who is now our chairman, aims to help as many of these sufferers and their carers and families as possible.

Our local services include a Befriending Scheme for home visits, Day Care centres at Hereford and Ledbury, Companionship Clubs at Hereford, Bromyard and Ross-on-Wye, and a Drop-In and Support Group for carers at Hereford. In March of this year we initiated a new venture, our Alzheimer's Caf, at the WRVS Centre inVicarage Road, St. James, Hereford. After this inaugural meeting, meant for ALL with an interest in dementia, the Caf will open at 6.30pm on the third Tuesday of each month from May onwards.

These services are well staffed to offer friendly and homely care. Doctors and community psychiatric nurses supported by Social Services refer patients to us and carers may approach us directly for advice or help. The staff are complemented by volunteers and a committee for fund-raising.

This year the Mayor of Hereford, Chris Chappell, has chosen us as his Charity of the Year. The special events have included the Mayor's Ball, the Mayoress' Luncheon. a splendid Tea Dance arranged by Mr and Mrs Smith of Hereford Dance School and a gig organised by the Herdsman Inn. An enjoyable Gardeners' Question Time was put on by Paul Hodges of Wyevale with a panel of Mike George and Reg Moule of BBC Hereford and Worcester fame and Roger Davies of Wyevale Nurseries.

We are looking forward to a charity football match on Saturday 4th May at Widemarsh Common, between Hereford United Veterans team and the West Bromwich Albion Former Players Association. Colin Addison and Andrew Morris have planned this family afternoon of sport and fun, (start 1.30pm, kick off 2.30pm).

Sadly, with an ageing population, dementia is on the increase. In such a rural county as Herefordshire, distances may lead to the further isolation of sufferers and their carers. Whilst the Society's research team continues to seek a cure for the illness our work helps to ensure that the need for loving friendship and care can really be met.

To maintain this support and increase our services, we need yet more volunteers and fund-raisers as well as potential and dedicated committee members. We welcome your interest and support. Anyone, for example, may join our annual Memory Walk in Hereford on 28 June.

For further details of our services contact the branch office at 49 Breinton Road, Hereford HR4 0JY, telephone 01432 371137 or e-mail

The Sylvia Short Educational Charity
(images supplied: Sylvia Short, aboriginal workshop, zipwire)
The Sylvia Short Charity gives grants to assist young people under the age of 19, in full-time education in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, in undertaking field work and extra mural studies.
Sylvia Short often visited Byford, Herefordshire in her teenage years and chose to retire here after a teaching career in the Royal Air Force during World War Two and later as a deputy head in Clapton, East London. Throughout her retirement she maintained her great interest in the education of young people and was particularly keen to impart her love of learning and of the Herefordshire countryside to them. She therefore bequeathed her entire estate to local school children to afford them opportunities to develop their own appreciation of her enthusiasms.
Mrs. Short's beliefs, interests and concerns form the basis of the criteria for grants:

Lifelong enthusiasm for learning.
The importance of study outside the classroom.
Encouraging young people to reach their potential.
Seizing an opportunity to acquire knowledge.
Developing an enquiring mind.
The importance of education to improve and enhance one's prospects.
A love of the countryside.
Opening young people's eyes to what they might achieve.

Applications may be made by individuals to help with buying essential books, equipment or musical instruments, to pay fees for additional courses of study or examinations, or to help with


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