West Drayton Gatehouse Lodge supporting Dementia Day Care

On Tuesday 23rd of April, West Drayton Gatehouse Lodge, No. 6836 donated £200 to the Orchard Dementia Centre, just outside Chertsey.

The cheque was the result of The Lodge achieving Steward status and was presented by W. Bro Keith Dear, who has recently taken over as the Charity Steward of the Lodge.

Matt and Shirley who manage the day to day activities of the Orchard Dementia Centre

Keith Dear was met by Matt and Shirley who manage the day to day activities of the Centre (www.orcharddementiacentre.co.uk).

Having explained how Freemasonry encourages its members to engage with charitable activities, Keith was then given an explanation of how the Centre operates and a bit of its history.

The Centre was originally run by the Alzheimer’s Society as a day Centre to support the local community, but in 2016 the Centre was to be closed.

In a short period of time, a committed group of people, led by David Shepherd, put together a business plan to run independently.

This meant that the Alzheimer’s Society phase finished on a Friday, and on the Monday following it opened its doors in its current form.

They specialise in day care with attendance of 18 to 20 people per day.

Each client is assessed when they start so that the team of bubbly enthusiastic and committed staff and volunteers are able to offer relevant support to all who attend.

There are a variety of individual and group based experiences made available to the people who attend, and while Keith was there, a volunteer was running a crossword game and a Pearly King was setting up his equipment to host a singsong for St George’s Day.

Matt and Shirley were clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the work they do as well as the community they help.

In addition to the indoor activities in a big homely room, there is a garden to engage with.

They also take the whole group out on visits, including zoos, and a boat trip in the near future.

One reason for choosing this local charity for the donation was that it is a cause important to W. Bro. Trevor Brough who recently passed to the Grand Lodge above, and another is that Keith Dear’s father W. Bro. Ray Dear of Draytonian Lodge, No. 3980 suffered from this debilitating condition.

Keith has believed that the Masonic experience of the regularity of the Lodge of Instruction meetings, the frequent interactions and conversations with other Masons as well as his determination to get into the chair of Draytonian Lodge, gave him a social and intellectual focus point which slowed down the onset of Dementia.

The money will help towards funding resources for the clients, and the costs of the outings.


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