Solva Care Friday Club
We have been hearing good things about Solva Care and asked Helen Bingham, assistant activities coordinator, for some information about this thriving local charity.
“Solva Care began as a pilot in 2014,” Helen explained. “They demonstrated that there was a definite need for some support for the older community. Later years can be a lonely time of life particularly as the area is largely rural in nature.”
She said that following that pilot Solva Care has become a registered charity and is run by the people from the Solva and Whitchurch area of Pembrokeshire.
“We work closely with the community council and other local organisations and groups to help improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. Our priority is to enable residents to stay in their own home and remain part of their community wherever possible.
“All the trustees live in or work in Solva, so they know the area and its people very well. The organisation has grown so much from its early days, extending in leaps and bounds, providing activities and social care for older people in the area.”
Some of Helen’s particular responsibilities lie in helping at the Friday club which runs from 2pm to 4pm. As the assistant activities coordinator, she also researches and arranges activities such as theatre trips to Theatre Gwaun to see musicals at the dementia-friendly showings and to places such as Vincent Davies at Christmas.
“We have all kinds of activities on a Friday,” she said, “including music like the Ukulele Pirates, St Davids cathedral bells, and Tony’s Country and Western. We also have a range of crafts activities, music quizzes, reminiscing sessions and gentle movement with Helen Morris.”
People who can’t make it under their own steam are brought to the session by volunteers who also bake the cakes for the teabreak mid-session.
“We have over 30 volunteers in the community and they all help in various ways: collecting people, baking cakes, driving the minibus, making teas and helping set up.”
Sandra Young, who runs the Friday club, said: “Solva Care volunteering is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I love working with people who care. I have great job satisfaction and I have made new friends as well as created a social outlet.
“The Friday Club is an example of the fun we have each week, whether it be creating, dancing, singing or simply being part of a wonderful group of people.”
Solva Care really is committed to combatting isolation, depression and loneliness, and to help diminish the development of dementia.
There is a Facebook page and also a website at www.solvacare.co.uk for anyone who has some time on their hands and thinks they would like to help, or just wants some information
Some comments from service users recently have been:
“Very good opportunity to meet people and socialise.”
“Fantastic. It’s good to have a sense of community.”
“Very happy that Friday club is available. Lucky to have the opportunity to come here.’
“Solva Care rescued me from isolation. Gets you out to meet others.”
“Would dance if I could, but enjoy watching people laughing – gives a warm feeling.”