PGM is a voluntary group started by carers, whose loved ones were affected by Dementia/Alzheimer’s, who saw the benefit of sharing the journey of this terrible disease with others in the same position. Gerald, Edith and Judy met at a similar, fortnightly group in Tytherington and felt the need to meet more often as their spouses were enjoying the familiarity and friendship. Gerald kindly offered his home and from August 2016 met on alternate weeks to Tytherington. Word of our meetings spread and at one session we squeezed 16 into Gerald’s kitchen/diner which was when we considered hiring a room somewhere.
Our first meeting on January 18th 2017 at Poynton Methodist Church followed successful application for a grant from Cheshire East under the Participatory Budgeting Scheme in November 2016. We were awarded funds for the first year’s rent plus £500 towards activity items and set-up costs. However, after only four meetings, on 29th March 2017, we moved to the large hall at The Centre in Poynton, only 3½ years later moved again to Poynton Civic Hall. The three of us were delighted to receive Civic Pride Awards in July 2019 in recognition of our ‘sustained and significant’ contribution to the community of Poynton. Over recent years there have been a few changes to the Leadership Team – Edith resigned to have more time for her garden, family and trips away and Pauline Winfield, a stalwart member since we began, joined to supervise Member registrations.
PGM operates on a ‘drop-in’ basis with the only criteria to come along being that a person living with Dementia/Alzheimer’s MUST be accompanied by their spouse, a relative or a carer.
The aim of the get-togethers is to lighten everyone’s spirits and support our Members with laughter, enjoyment, information and most importantly – friendship. We start with a hearty sing-along led by our own PGM Band followed by dancing which puts a smile on everyone’s face before doing light exercise and seated games.
Soup, bread and cake is for lunch at 1pm followed by a variety of activities such as jig-saws, dominoes, crafts/painting and, for the more adventurous, we sometimes have Kurling, archery or billiards.
We’re fortunate to have many Volunteers to help with refreshments and activities, the Giant Parachute is always fun. This time allows the carers to have some ‘me’ time with their peers should they wish. We always end with bingo (plus prizes) – a great favourite.
Outings are great fun and help the Group to socialise and bond new friendships. We’ve had meals at Garden Centres, pubs, trips on the Mary Sunley Canal Boat, Trentham Gardens, Llandudno and to a Christmas Pantomime. Throughout the year we have also entertainers such as choirs, comedians and more.
Celebrations are important so we organise our PGM Birthday party, an Easter Hat Parade, and each Christmas we have a party starting with carols followed by a turkey dinner with all the trimmings plus entertainment and games after lunch.
In June 2022 we had an amazing Platinum Jubilee party.
Come along and see for yourself what we do.