Elizabeth Anderson (Founder)
Dr Elizabeth Anderson trained as a research psychologist, specialising in dementia in the late 1990’s when she completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford. Prior to founding The Memory Tree she worked as a Lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford (2002 – 2008) and then as a freelance Dementia Care Trainer (2008 – 2011).
Elizabeth was motivated to leave her professional work because she felt there was a lack of knowledge in local communities that was contributing to people feeling under-confident when it came to supporting their neighbours or friends living with dementia. To find out whether she could use her knowledge to help Elizabeth worked voluntarily in her local community during 2011 to meet people with dementia and their carers, find out about their needs and the gaps in local service provision; the main gap was for what we have called a Memory Club – a place where the person with dementia and the carer could go together but still get some time apart.
Our first Memory Club started in March 2012 at St Peter’s Church in Moorhead, Shipley. The Memory Tree CIC was set up in October 2012 and over time further groups have been established:
2013: January 2013 at the Kirkgate Centre, Shipley; in August 2013 at Keighley Shared Church Hall, and in September 2013 at Idle Baptist Church.
2015: We decided to close down the original St Peter’s Club in Shiipley (because we had 2 in this area) so that we could start a new one in September 2015 in Low Moor.
2017: We entered into a partnership with Burley-in-Wharfedale Dementia Action Group (BDAG) to help them set up and run their own Memory Club which has now been running since May 2017.
Elizabeth coordinates all the memory clubs, and is the lead for Carer Support.
Bob has been working alongside Elizabeth as a volunteer since 2011. He is the lead for the Memory Support programme. Bob does a number of other voluntary roles with older people in the Bradford area, including the Home from Hospital scheme run by Carers’ Resource and being a volunteer driver for the Volunteer Centre Bradford.
Andrea has been a volunteer since 2014 and agreed to become our third director in 2015. Andrea’s main role is to help with fundraising, planning and local engagement and she helps out at Clubs as and when she is needed.
Our Volunteer Teams
Memory Clubs could not run without the care and commitment given by our teams of local volunteers. Most of our volunteers have been working with us for a number of years now and have established deep and supportive friendships with our Club members. As well as helping us with the work involved in running a Club (setting up, serving refreshments, supporting people with dementia to feel included and participate) they provide the ‘local heart’ of each Memory Club making each one special and distinctive. The contact they have with Club members inside and outside of sessions – meeting them in the street or local supermarket, ringing in when people have missed sessions to make sure they are OK, visiting or sending cards when people are in hospital – means people with dementia and their carers know that there are kind people round the corner who care about their situation; words cannot describe how important and valuable this is to people living with dementia in coping with the very difficult challenges this condition brings to their lives.
These teams of special people are:
At Idle Memory Club
Chris, Lesley, Pat, Ann, Jennifer, Katie, Mary, Sharon, Jean and Daren.
At Kirkgate Memory Club
Mary, Lis, Ann, Gina, Bryn and Jackie K.
At Keighley Memory Club
Cathy, Eileen, Patricia, Sandra, Barbara W and Kathryn H
At Low Moor Memory Club
Ann, Val, Kathryn M, Jackie J, Dorothy, Elsie, Barbara, Christine and Margaret
If you are interested in joining one of our volunteer teams, please contact Elizabeth:
01274 583364 / firstname.lastname@example.org