Queens Award to DFA
LORD LIEUTENANT PRESENTS QUEENS AWARD TO DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY ALTON
Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, presented the Queens Award for Voluntary Service to Dementia-friendly Alton on 1st December 2022 at Alton Community Centre, the home of Memory Lane Club. It was both a poignant and uplifting day: poignant because the presentation had been delayed from September by mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and uplifting because it enabled the volunteers and local supporters responsible for earning the award and those benefitting from DFA’s services to attend the presentation together.
During a buffet lunch accompanied by the soothing sounds of a harp, Mr Atkinson chatted to members and volunteers about their lives and why they think DFA won the award. He said “this nomination stood out, as it was clear that the group made a huge difference to people living with dementia. I’m sure Alton is very proud of you, as is the rest of Hampshire.”
Karen Murrell, DFA Co-ordinator and a founding volunteer, spoke of her pride in the organisation receiving recognition for its outstanding reputation in running 8 years of activities to support local people living with dementia and their carers.
“Thanks to those who have made this possible through financial contributions, including Alton Town Council, East Hants District Council, NHS Hampshire & IOW, Allen Lane Foundation, Alton Beer Festival, Haskins, Screwfix and Tesco, 2023 will see our strongest programme ever.”
She said “Whilst Memory Club, Legion Legends & Music Café remain ever popular, the big success since re-opening after Covid has been the growth of our ‘Flourish’ horticulture sessions. Not only do we have 3 gardening sites in Alton but in March 2023 we’re launching ‘Flourish in the Forest’ monthly Active Wellbeing sessions for people living with dementia and their carers at Alice Holt Forest, featuring walking, cycling and horticulture at this amazing leisure facility. We are also very excited to be teaming up with the Allen Gallery to develop a programme of regular sessions.
It's certainly 'All go' at Dementia-friendly Alton!
A tremendous thank you to everyone for all your support and to our amazing volunteer team, we simply couldn't do this without you:)