We are a couple of curious, quick-thinking, passionate like-minded partners (and friends!), working together to deliver a solution we truly believe in: to support those who are experiencing isolation or early dementia in both the local Sussex and Surrey areas.
Both of us have experienced a close family member who either lived with dementia, or felt socially isolated and struggled with deep loneliness … it is a subject very close to our hearts.
We identified there was a common goal between us and coupled with the zeal to do something about it in order to help others in our community, we put our heads together to launch a clever solution – one which will stand the test of time, be a trail blazer in the world of older people care across Sussex and Surrey and one we hope will be around for many years.
We wanted to create a name, Tapestry Day Club, which both encapsulates the idea that every one has a life story, a rich personal tapestry, which they can share with a small group over a delicious hot lunch.
I am passionate about making a difference for people with dementia having supported my father through this debilitating disease. Not only did the disease rob him of his memory but also excluded him socially. A day out with something like Tapestry Lunch Club would have made a big difference to his quality of life and feelings of self-worth. Furthermore, potentially it might have delayed his move into residential care.
I have always enjoyed working with people. I worked for over 20 years in schools both as a teacher and in their Marketing Departments. I have been a listening volunteer for Horsham and Crawley Samaritans for over 4 years and through this have realised increasingly that there is such a great need for support in our communities.
I am married with 3 grown up children, a daughter-in-law and two gorgeous dogs. My life is very varied, I have travelled extensively and love the out doors from walking to sailing, however do enjoy quiet times reading and crocheting.
I have always been a very caring, empathetic and supportive person, and have experienced first hand both those living with dementia and those who are socially very isolated. Social isolation is not only a heart-breaking phenomenon, but is unequivocally linked to the onset of dementia. I feel the need to help reduce the numbers of people sliding into dementia by first providing support and care to those who feel ‘transparent’, lonely, depressed and isolated.
I spent the past three years working for a family run residential care home business. Although my role was within the marketing team, it is there that I learnt so much about community spirit, care and compassion for the elderly. Prior to this post, I worked for 25 years in the media and communications business for some of the world’s leading tech and B2B brands.
Having been born in Colombia and grown up overseas, I am an intrepid traveller, – 67 countries and counting – passionate photographer, skier, mother of two beautiful teenage daughters and wife of one very patient, supportive husband!
“When I first heard about TDC I thought it was a great idea. I love to cook, talk to people and share my lovely house and dogs. But I underestimated what a good idea it actually was. Three of my guests were apprehensive about what was going to happen but the expressions on their faces by the end of the day was something to behold. I think older people are too often just tolerated, or ignored, but at TDC we celebrate them and make them feel special – and the absolute joy it brings them, brings tears to my eyes!”
“Becoming a Host for Tapestry Day Club 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, allowing 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 and the ultimate reward is when you end the day with guests who are well fed, smiling and looking forward to returning the following week.”
“After finding out about TDC 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 & to do something that would make a real difference to a person’s life. Since starting with TDC, I now realise how isolated some elderly people are & seeing the enjoyment they get from a day with us is incredible. Watching the guests gain confidence & interacting with each other gives me so much pleasure. I always look forward to the next week & to feel I am making that little bit of difference to their lives.”
“I initially became a host with TDC as the whole idea appealed strongly. I have always enjoyed working with the elderly throughout my career, I love to cook and entertain and I wanted to do something “worthwhile”. Being a host ticks all those boxes and more. It is incredibly rewarding seeing rather apprehensive guests arrive for the first time and watch as they relax, start to interact and form friendships. It’s lovely to see the same guests week after week, finding out what works for each other and finishing the day with smiles and looking forward to the next week. There’s certainly a lot of laughing that goes on- I think I enjoy it as much as my guests!”