The Grateful Society is a Bristol based charity dedicated to supporting the lives and care of older people within our city and surrounding areas. During the build up to becoming this year’s President I have had the great privilege of meeting some amazing older people and learning more about the challenges they face every day.
The one common theme I keep coming across is the loneliness and isolation experienced by older people. The staff and volunteers at day centres and care homes do an incredible job to combat this and provide an excellent level of support. It has become very clear to me that interaction with other likeminded people, sharing life stories and experiences is a very valuable part of their lives. I have been overwhelmed by the pleasure and joy the day centre sessions bring to the attendees, it might be only one session a month but they are deeply valued by all those involved.
I am very pleased that the Society is able to provide much needed financial support to a number of community day centres. Having been to a number of them recently I have learnt that without the Society’s funding they would be forced to close or not be able to offer the range of activities they do, especially following local authority cuts.
Four years ago the Society provided some prime funding for an organisation called Alive. Their amazing work is now benefiting thousands of older people, with a wide range of activities from dance and movement groups to guided interactive sessions with young people using iPads to reminisce and share life experiences.
Another area of great demand is care and support for those affected by dementia, there is increasing concern about the lack of facilities and groups available throughout Bristol. More regular social sessions specifically for those with dementia would provide consistent opportunities for attendees to engage in positive activity and have somewhere welcoming to go. This is a particular area I would like to focus attention on in my year as President, for those living with dementia and their carers.
The Grateful Society is now in its 258th year and I am very honoured to be its President for the twelve months ahead. As well as visiting the day centres and care homes during this time, to really understand where best we can offer financial assistance to the most worthwhile projects, I am tasked in leading this year’s appeal to support these activities.
The Society’s income relies entirely on the generosity of its supporters within Bristol and beyond. By tradition our annual appeal only lasts for a short period, ending on Colston Day; 13th November 2016. To make a donation prior to Colston Day, you can click the tab marked “Make a Donation”. I would be very grateful for your support of the excellent work these projects do, any donation you are able to give will make a real difference.