Tea of the Week: Founder of Silverline Memories, Sandra Hastings’ fight to redefine dementia care

Driven by her personal experience caring for family members diagnosed with dementia and the common misconceptions of the disease, Sandra Hastings sets up Silverline Memories with the aims of bringing joy, care, and support for people living with dementia. 

Caring for dementia over a cuppa, singing and more.

(Left) Founder of Silverline Memories, Sandra Hastings.

During her experience supporting both her father-in-law and grandmother who were diagnosed with dementia, Sandra Hastings was left frustrated with the stereotypical and stigmatised activities that were available to people affected by the disease. 

“It was activities that I will not want to do,” said Sandra. 

“Although the care and support were fantastic, but in terms of giving that person fun in their lives, it was very limited. And there was no joy – there is so much joy to be found in life. Even with a dementia diagnosis, you should not take that away.”

– Sandra Hastings

To know more about the common misconceptions people have of dementia, listen to this short excerpt of my interview with Sandra.

A short excerpt from the interview about the common misconceptions people have of dementia.

Setting up Silverline Memories

When Sandra left the corporate world after venturing in the business sector for years, she decided to look for another occupation she could spend her time doing while bringing up her children. 

Sandra started studying a Masters degree to becoming a social worker. However, she realised there were limitations of budget restraints and statutory guidelines to the support she could give as a social worker.

In December 2013, she set up Silverline Memories – a charity that supports families that are affected by dementia in the North East of England. 

According to statistics from Alzheimer’s Society, there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. The numbers predicted to rise to over a million in 2025.

With the help from Big Lottery Awards, Silverline Memories was able to obtain monetary funding to start off the charity organisation. 

Silverline Memories provides a range of social opportunities and support services such as:

  • Dementia Café
  • Tea Dances
  • Lunch Clubs
  • Dementia Carers Support Groups
  • Day Trips

The Dementia Café 

The Dementia Cafe is held in the Community Room at St. Aidan’s Church.

I managed to pop by one of the Dementia Café sessions which is held every Monday, from 1PM to 3PM, in the Community Room at St. Aidan’s Church, in Brunton Park, Gosforth. 

They also have another Dementia Café on every second Tuesday of the month at The Pavillion in Helford Road, Peterlee.

This session features Silverline Sings which takes place only on the first Monday of the month.

Click on the arrows on this photo gallery for a photo essay of what I observed during the entire session:

Or check out this video interview I did with Sandra during the Silverline Sings session.

Click on the video to watch what went on in the Dementia Cafe.

Silverline Memories is also looking for volunteers! If you are keen on being a part of the team, more details can be found at: https://silverlinememories.com/volunteer-with-us/

Alternatively, you can follow their Twitter or Facebook page for updates on their upcoming events.

Hopefully you guys enjoyed this article! Leave a comment (or a positive message) down below about your thoughts on Silverline Memories.

See you guys on my next post!

Stay tea-rrific and positive!

– Dalene 🍵

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