History

In 1999, carers for dementia clients  were encouraged by the Carers’ Support Worker (CSW) of the Community Dementia Team to attend educational and support meetings. Here it was observed that carers found it difficult to leave the person they cared for at home alone. A volunteer was found to support the people with dementia while training  & support meetings were going on. This person assisted the clients to bake and prepare tea for the carers & when both groups came together for afternoon tea the dynamics of both groups changed. Carers found themselves discussing common problems each had to deal with, leading to bonds forming between the carers. These meetings were initially held monthly but it was immediately recognised they would have to be held weekly if they were to make a significant difference to people’s lives.

A venue was found and a pilot group was set up by the CSW with the help of one volunteer. This worked well and soon an occupational therapist (OT) from the Royal Cornhill Hospital was charged with the task of setting up day hospital facilities for those living on Deeside. As a result the CSW and OT formed the “Forget-Me-Not Club” which was based in the Banchory Scout HQ. Numbers grew rapidly and recruitment of volunteers was completed quickly. Four of these original volunteers are still with the Club today.

In 2000, a group was established in Aboyne to support clients and carers further up Deeside. Again, the local Scout HQ was used though this was unsatisfactory resulting in a move to the Aboyne Church Hall.

Also in 2000, the Club was invited to relocate to a new resource centre opened by the local council at Dalvenie Gardens in Banchory.

Special interest groups have been developed in the following years such as Art, Tai Chi & singing for pleasure, affectionately known as “Forget-Me-Notes.”   Carers have reported improvement in mood and alertness following these sessions.

A men’s group was established to provide both male clients and carers an opportunity to come together in the indoor sports centre in Banchory where they can select activities to suit their ability and interest.  A variety of sports including bowling, darts, pool, dominoes and putting are available. Weekly live music sessions are organised at Birse & Feughside Church on Thursday afternoons where volunteers provide music which always involves dancing.

Also in 2000, the Club was invited to relocate to a new resource centre opened by the local council at Dalvenie Gardens in Banchory.
Special interest groups have been developed in the following years such as singing for pleasure, affectionately known as “Forget-Me-Notes.”  Carers have reported improvement in mood and alertness following these sessions.
Furthermore, a men’s group was established to provide both male clients and carers an opportunity to come together in the indoor sports centre in Banchory where they can select activities to suit their ability and interest.  A variety of sports including bowling, darts, pool, dominoes and putting are available.
Today our regular meetings include Tai Chi and Complementary Therapy such as Reiki, Shiatzu, Reflexology and Indian Head massage. A chiropodist and life coach also provide support for the Club.
Our sister organisation, “Caring for Carers – Let’s live again,” is run by a volunteer for new carers and holds courses over a six week block.  Input is offered by speakers on types of dementia, drugs used, home activities, available benefits, care and stress management.
The entire “Forget-Me-Not Club” depends on and owes its success to the commitment of our team of volunteers who are trained and supported in their tasks through the Club. Many of them come from a background of caring for someone with dementia.

Our own Resource Centre which opened in March 2014 has provided a one stop facility for people seeking support & information on dementia & its associated problems while enabling our equipment to be stored in an easy to manage facility but most importantly it provides a safe, pleasant & happy place for our clients, carers, volunteers & staff to enjoy.