Our team

Our hosts

Tapestry Day Club Tisman's Common host Sara Short

Sara, our host in Tisman’s Common

Sara

“Becoming a host has given me the chance to share my hospitality and home with a community of older people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to connect socially with like-minded people. It allows them to forge friendships with others they can become familiar with on a regular basis.

“Over time, you become more than a host. You become a friend, too. The ultimate reward is when you end the day with guests who are well fed, smiling and looking forward to returning the following week.”

Sara supports families from Rudgwick, Loxwood, Wisborough Green, Billingshurst and surrounding villages.

Tapestry Day Club North Horsham host Kate Bertolazi

Kate, our host in North Horsham

Kate

“I live with my partner, my daughter and our two cats. I love to entertain in my kitchen/diner overlooking the garden. I have been a nanny for many years. Now my charges are at school, I was looking for a new venture and heard about Tapestry Day Club.

“I am so pleased to be part of such a fantastic team of like-minded, caring and empathetic people. I love entertaining. Cooking is one of my favourite things to do, so to be able to do all of these things and share my home is perfect. My guests are now my friends and we have lots to talk about every time I see them.”

Kate supports families from the west side of Horsham and all the villages just west of Horsham.

 

Tapestry Day Club Mannings Heath host Trudi Cousins

Trudi, our host in Mannings Heath

 

Trudi

“After finding out about Tapestry Day Club, I felt passionately that I wanted to become part of this wonderful concept. I was at a point in my working life when I wanted a change and to do something that would make a real difference to a person’s life.

“Since starting this job, I realise how isolated some elderly people are. Seeing the enjoyment they get from a day with us is incredible. Watching the guests gain confidence and interacting with each other gives me so much pleasure. I always look forward to the next week and feel I am making that little bit of difference to their lives.”

Trudi supports families from the east side of Horsham, including Mannings Heath, Pease Pottage, Faygate, Handcross and surrounding villages.

Tapestry Day Club Beare Green host Kerrie Thorpe

Kerrie, our host in Beare Green

Kerrie

“I love listening to people’s stories and gain such joy from hosting. I always look forward to welcoming guests into my home for a fun, friendship-making day. My enjoyment comes from guests feeling safe and comfortable.

“Besides hosting for this club, I work for a children’s cancer charity, where I meet wonderful people who humble me every day. My three beautiful teenage children also keep me busy. I love the bustle of a busy kitchen table, sharing stories of our days. I love to ski, although find it harder and harder to keep up with my children these days. I play golf, and enjoy being outside walking my little dog.”

Kerrie supports families from Dorking, Beare Green, Newdigate, Rusper, the Holmwoods and all surrounding villages.

 

Tapestry Day Club Storrington host Katie Bridge

Katie, our host in Storrington

Katie

“During the first lockdown, I was a community volunteer, shopping for people who were isolating. I also set up a free meal delivery service for key workers, sponsored by generous people in our village and supplied by our local pub. I realised that being part of a supportive community is so important. Every Friday, I help out at our local community market and I love chatting to the customers, many of whom live alone.

“As I love being at home with family and friends, cooking, chatting and relaxing, I enjoy welcoming Tapestry Day Club guests to my relaxed and friendly home for a day of companionship and fun. I’m a good listener and like learning about their life stories.

“I’m married and we have a gorgeous standard poodle called Enzo, who loves lots of cuddles, especially from my guests. I’m a stepmum to three boys, who are all grown up now. I’m also a keen amateur gardener – learning as the years pass – and love admiring my work after a hard day of weeding.”

Katie supports families from Storrington, Steynings, Pulborough, Thakenham, West Chiltington and all the villages around this area.

Tapestry Day Club Hassocks host Sarah Smith

Sarah, our host in Hassocks

Sarah

“It has always been important to me to bring people together and build a sense of community – to meet in person over a cup of tea and home-made cake. I love welcoming people into my home and garden in the lovely village of Hassocks in the South Downs. I feel the sense of relaxation and comfort one has from being offered hospitality and a meal in someone’s home is one of the joys of life, and I enjoy doing that for the Tapestry Lunch Club guests.

“Over the summer months, I grow flowers to cut and give away to older people in my village. I enjoy meeting and chatting with people of all generations, but am often drawn to hearing the life stories of those of an older generation.

“For many years, I recruited and trained foster carers for the local authority, but I’m enjoying a more creative working life at the moment. Since my daughter started school, I’ve been developing my artistic side, which includes leading workshops teaching the art of woodblock printing onto fabric and paper to make beautiful items for the home. I gain great satisfaction helping others to learn and enjoy creative activities.

“I share my house with my husband Hugo and our daughter. She attends a local girls’ school and my husband travels up to London most days of the week.”

Sarah supports families from Hassocks, Henfield, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Hurstpierpoint and surrounding villages, including down to Hove.

Tapestry Day Club host in Billingshurst Shelly Stewart

Shelly, our host in Billingshurst

Shelly

I live in Billingshurst with my Canadian husband, teenage daughter and a delightful white schnoodle called Oscar, who adores having his tummy rubbed all day long.

Having spent most of my career working as a professional chef, I enjoy spoiling all my guests.

I love playing cards, board games, long walks on the beach, long walks up hills and generally anything to do with racket sports. Gardening is another passion, but have no idea what I am doing; I always think enthusiasm is more important than skill, though.

“Described by others as patient, kind and fun, I hope my guests love their time with me at my home.”

Shelly supports families from Billingshurst, Petworth and all the villages around this area.

Tapestry Day Club Broadbridge Heath host Anna Sylvan

Anna, our host in Broadbridge Heath

Anna

“I live in Horsham with my husband, and my teenage daughter and son. With a background as a secondary schoolteacher of French and Spanish, I now work part-time as a translator.

“A passionate gardener, I have a flower-filled back garden and an allotment growing all sorts of vegetables and fruit, providing produce for my cooking. I love family time, sitting down together around a home-cooked dinner, playing board games and going for walks in the beautiful Sussex countryside.

“After spending time with elderly friends and relatives, I have seen first-hand the impact loneliness can have. I feel Tapestry Day Club is such a wonderful initiative to create communities and inclusivity, and I always look forward to welcoming guests and sharing my love for cooking and my wonderful home with others.”

Anna supports families from Broadbridge Heath, Warnham, Slinfold, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and all surrounding villages.

Tapestry Day Club Southwater host Ian Minto

Ian, our host in Southwater

Ian

“I am a husband, the father of two grown-up boys and a retired engineer. We share our lovely house with a dog and a cat. I have travelled and worked all over the world and love to meet new people as I find that there is so much to learn from everyone.

“I have spent the past five years working in social care and understand the challenges in caring for people, and know how beneficial social interaction can be as we age.

“I love music, ballroom and Latin dancing, most sports and playing all kinds of games. Cooking and entertaining are things I enjoy as well as making new friends to share a meal and have lots of fun.”

Ian supports families from south of Horsham, Southwater, Christ’s Hospital and all the villages around this areas.


The office team

Anderley Wade – co-founder

“I am passionate about making a difference to people with dementia having supported my father through this debilitating disease. Not only did it rob him of his memory, but also it excluded him socially. A day out with a set-up such as Tapestry Lunch Club would have improved his quality of life and feelings of self-worth immensely. It may have delayed his move into residential care.

“For more than 20 years, I worked in schools, both as a teacher and in marketing departments. I have been a volunteer for the Samaritans for several years. Through this, I have realised increasingly the great need for support in our communities.”

Clare Jones – co-founder

“I have first-hand experienced of a family member struggling to live on her own for years. Social isolation is a heartbreaking phenomenon that is unequivocally linked to the onset of dementia. I want to help reduce the number of people sliding into dementia by providing support and care to those who feel ‘transparent’, lonely and depressed.

“Before embarking on this project, I spent three years working for a family-run residential care home. As part of the marketing team, I learnt so much about community spirit, care and compassion. For 25 years prior to that, I worked in the media and communications business for some of the world’s leading tech and B2B brands.”

Leslie Bliss – business development and office support

“I still have vivid memories of visiting my nan – who had Alzheimer’s and had to be incarcerated in a care home for her own safety – when I was in my twenties. A few years ago, my dad’s worst fears became reality when he was diagnosed. As well as that, my mother-in-law lived with the challenges of Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia for many years, so I have first-hand experience of the impact some forms of dementia can have on a family.

“When a part-time vacancy came up to work at this inspiring enterprise, I jumped at the chance to make a difference and help older people live independently for as long as possible. I have been able to put to use my many years of experience as a writer and magazine sub-editor, as well as as my skills as a professional photographer.

“Having watched the hosts in action, it is so comforting to see the enjoyment guests derive from the day, how humour prevails and how the activities re-energise. To see that makes life with memory loss a lot less frightening.”