The first round of the Pargiter Trust Grants with the Guernsey Community Foundation has seen more than £19,000 awarded to Bailiwick charities working with elderly people. Five recipients were awarded grants: Milly’s Foundation, Guernsey Hard of Hearing Association, Carers Coming Together, Eldad Elim Church and the Guernsey Arts Commission.
Milly’s Foundation is a new registered charity in Alderney, established to develop dementia services for island residents. With Alderney’s high percentage of older people (a third of the population being over 65) the incidence of dementia is becoming an increasing issue for the population, with few services currently in place. An award of £3,500 has supported professional dementia training for volunteers, carers and caregivers, along with activity materials for a new drop in day centre at the Connaught Care Home.
A grant of £4,300 was awarded to the Guernsey Hard of Hearing Association. This organisation gives free help and support to deaf and hard of hearing adults, many of whom are elderly. The grant supported the provision of digital listeners across the island’s care homes, so that staff and family can communicate better with hard of hearing residents. The grant also supported the purchase of specialist smoke alarms for those with hearing impairments, enabling them to remain in their own homes safely.
Carers Coming Together has been given a grant of £3,500 to continue its support work with Guernsey’s carers. The group supports unpaid carers looking after long-term sick, disabled or frail and elderly relatives to take some time for themselves. Their events aim to give carers some time to themselves whilst meeting others in the same situation. Two thirds of the carers attending these events are over 65 themselves and often caring for older relatives. Funding will support the programme of Away Days, volunteer expenses and other events.
Funding of £2,500 has been awarded to Eldad Elim Church to offer an occasional free hot meals service to senior residents within the area of upper St Peter Port. This church group, registered as a charity, provides general community facilities and hopes to provide this meals service to around forty senior community members. The service will help to alleviate loneliness, reduce isolation and provide a friendly environment for conversation or for sharing any concerns that senior residents may have about their circumstances.
£5,650 has been awarded to the Guernsey Arts Commission for a pilot Reminiscence Arts project ‘Bringing Memories to Life’ with dementia sufferers and their carers. The programme will stimulate memories for participants and provide an enjoyable specialised activity for those with dementia, who often cannot take part or actively participate in more standard activities. The project will work to train local artists on how to use the arts to connect to those who are affected by dementia. The artist will then share their skills and techniques with those who care for people with dementia, professional or ‘informal’ carers, many of whom lack experience in leading specialist activities for those with dementia.