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Dining Buddies: A Volunteer’s Story

My experience of being a Dining Buddy on a Male Dementia Ward …

“It has surprised me that even though there are sad situations on the ward, they have so much laughter, the men have a wicked sense of humour and the staff are always laughing.  I suppose if you didn’t you would cry but it makes it a very happy environment to be in.

When I first started there were three G’s on the ward so they all had nicknames, one being Gorgeous G, who then left the ward.  A month later Gorgeous G was back and as soon as he saw me he came straight to me to give me the biggest hug.  He had deteriorated but I was happy he had come back as we look after him.

I know we are guinea pigs and it is a pilot, personally it works really well and if it could be spread out everyone would get the benefits. It would be appropriate for retired people as they are a similar age to the clients and it’s a two way thing as I have found out.

Although the Dining Buddies is currently a pilot, it works very well and should be moved to other wards.”

Dining Buddies Volunteer