A community group which supports the vulnerable and lonely and their carers in the Vale of Clwyd is appealing for volunteer drivers to help them reach even more isolated people.
The Denbigh Forget Me Not Project’s team of willing helpers hold regular free monthly activities and meetings at the town’s Plas Pigot Social Club but would like to extend their services to local villages.
Their Saturday morning workout attracted a good turnout of all ages and was taken by Shaun Hughes, an exercise instructor with Denbighshire Leisure Services, and attended by Lisa James, of one of the project supporters, Lock Stock Self Storage.
It was followed by a free lunch provided by Forget Me Not volunteers and Chair Leah Roberts said: “It was very popular and we’ve had three new members and they have all enjoyed the activity and being able to get together and have a chat afterwards.
“There’s no pressure to stay for the whole session and people can drop in as they like but we are seeing more staying and we’d just like to be able to reach even more of those who are struggling or living with dementia.
“Public transport can be challenging to access in local villages and that’s why we are appealing for volunteer drivers to give some of their time once a month to transport people to and from our sessions because we will reimburse them for petrol.”
The Forget Me Not Project was launched in Denbigh in 2020 and is also supported by the Freeman Evans Trust, a private charitable trust for those in need in the former Borough of Denbigh.
The pandemic curtailed the Project’s face to face sessions so the team created a sub-project, recruiting 280 volunteers who completed over 10,000 tasks during lockdown to support those most at risk.
Leah added: “The sub-project remains ongoing and involves offering prescription collection, crisis dog walking, befriending telephone calls and much more.
“For those who are struggling the project also supplies fresh food parcels, food vouchers, birthday presents and other treats.
“A second sub-project called Winter Wishes is co-ordinated by a small committee of six who work tirelessly throughout the year.”
Shaun, a GP referral instructor who works with clients from 16 to 90 with a range of issues, said: “We’ve been doing some dynamic moves they can do without leaving their armchairs.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy it and we hopefully we can do some more work with them in future – I live in Denbigh and it’s just an hour out of my day so it’s good to be able to give something back to the community.”
Lock Stock’s Lisa James said: “The Denbigh Forget Me Not Project’s team of volunteers here do a fantastic job to provide what is clearly a much-needed service.
“Our business was founded in Denbigh and as a company we feel a real connection to the town and so we are pleased to be able to support the work the Forget Me Not Project are doing.”
Sioned Garrod, a resident of Cysgodfa, in Denbigh, said: “I was widowed 15 months ago and it can be difficult getting out to meet people again but I’ve been coming to the sessions and really enjoying them.
“It’s a chance to do something different and lose yourself for an hour and then you can have a chat. It really helps me cope.”
Tina Roberts, from Awel y Dyffryn, Denbigh, was attending her third session with the Forget Me Not Project and she said: “I have known Leah for a long time and she was a brilliant support when my husband, Harry, died four years ago.
“I had a nervous breakdown but I’m well again now and have got my life back and can enjoy activities like this.
“It’s about self-care and quality time and it’s so special to us. I’m just so grateful to the people here who give up their time for us. I’m so lucky to have such exceptional friends and family.”
Lock Stock, which now operates 26 storage parks across North Wales and the border counties – recently-opened Porthmadog is the newest – is the largest container-based storage company in the UK.
The business, founded in Denbigh in 1999, has over 4,000 storage units providing over four million cubic feet of space at its parks across North and Mid Wales and the border counties.
Their existing sites stretching from Holyhead and along the North Wales coast at Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno, Abergele and Rhyl, on the Dee at Flint, Saltney and Deeside and inland at Denbigh, Mold, Buckley, Wrexham and Newtown in Powys, and at Oswestry and Shrewsbury in Shropshire.
The company also specialise in the off-site hire of containers such which can be delivered by their specialist lorry, sizes range from 10-feet long up through 20-footers to 40-foot units, all eight feet high and eight feet wide, from 640 to 2,560 in cubic feet in volume.
For more on the work of Denbigh Forget Me Not Group, including how to volunteer, go to https://www.facebook.com/people/The-Denbigh-Forget-Me-Not-Project/100057277606937/