The Golden-Oldies Charity was founded in Bath by Grenville Jones in 2007. Initially there were four daytime Sing&Smile sessions for older isolated people in Bath and Keynsham Community Rooms. Now, 11 years on, there over 160 sessions across England and Wales (Goldies Cymru) reaching out to thousands of people.
As new sessions have been added, many have in partnership with organisations supporting adults with learning difficulties. There has also been an increasing number, year on year, of attendees who are adults living with dementia or early stage Alzheimer’s.
On Wednesday 14th November in the City of Bath where Goldies first started, a new pilot project was launched. This is a Memory Café here at St Michael’s Church, in the centre of the city, financially supported by St John’s Hospital and working in partnership with St Michael’s Church and BaNeS Dementia Action Alliance.
Grenville Jones explains:
“Everyone is welcome at a Goldies session but as we have grown in recent years we have noticed that more and more people attending the session are in the early stages of dementia, a major issue and growing concern in society today.
“This, our first Memory Café, is specifically designed for people living with dementia and their Carers to attend. The sessions will take place at St. Michael’s opposite Waitrose on the second Wednesday of every month and we hope that people across Bath & North East Somerset will spread the word to everyone who may be affected by dementia and who they feel could benefit from attending.
“The songs have been specifically chosen and it is our hope that this will be the first of a number of Memory Cafes that the Golden-Oldies Charity will open in the years ahead. We are indebted to St John’s Hospital for their support of this new programme and the community spirit of Rev. Roger Driver and everyone at St. Michael’s.”
The Memory Café at St Michael’s in Bath takes place from 11.00am until 12.15pm on the second Wednesday of every month and is led by Steve Lawrence. Everyone is welcome and with the café open in the church, there’s the chance to stay on for lunch after the session.
For further details of the work of the charity, its sessions and projects, see www.golden-oldies.org.uk