Grant received from Keynsham Town Council

On Wednesday 17th July our treasurer Mike Knight attended a Grants Presentation Evening for Keynsham Town Council, where he was presented with a cheque for £500 for our group. This will help us to continue our Music for the Mind sessions and the other work we do to make Keynsham and Saltford more dementia friendly. The photograph shows Mike receiving the cheque from Dave Biddleston, the Chair of the Grants Committee. The council has been a great support to the group since it was founded in 2016.

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Great Attendance July 11th

We had our most successful session on Thursday July 11th when we had about 80 people in St Dunstan’s Church Hall. We normally have between 40 and 50 people present that includes people living with dementia, plus their carers and our volunteers. This was a special event as we invited a class from St John’s Junior School to come along and sing to us. They did a concert for us last Christmas that went down very well with everyone. The children were encouraged to talk to our guests and everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.


July 11th 2

A donation of £400 has also been received in memory of John Humphreys who sadly passed away recently.



Second Anniversary Celebration

The Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance recently celebrated the second anniversary of its ‘Music for the Mind’ sessions.

This service started out as one Thursday morning per month, it’s popularity meant that very soon after the launch the DAA had increased its offer. Now on the second and fourth Thursday of the month (1030 until 1215) around 15 people living with dementia attend, together with their carers. It is a wonderful atmosphere and is obviously enjoyed because most people come to every session.

Thanks for your continued help with everything.


Marathon achievement

Congratulations to Stacey Hatherel, Branch Manager at the Coventry Building Society in Keynsham who earlier this year managed a fantastic achievement in running her first London marathon in just over 4 hours.

Money raised will go towards helping the charity, Stacey described her experience as follows.

“I was extremely surprised to be selected on Ballot for the Virgin London Marathon 2019. Having never ran a marathon before, I ensured my training started back as early as October 2018.

With having a young family & work commitments, meant training had to take place early mornings, late evenings & in my lunch hours at work. Bearing in mind the time of year, I had to train in various weathers, including storm Gareth!

The Marathon itself, was a fantastic experience, it was like running through one giant street party!! The atmosphere, the crowds, the landmarks of Tower Bridge, Cutty Sark etc  & the thought of raising money for your charity, kept me going on my darkest mile which was mile 23.

The members of Coventry Building Society at Keynsham never fail to surprise me with their generosity & kindness, not only their words of support & encouragement but the money they have raised for Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance which came to a total of £350.00 to which Coventry will match an additional £250.00 bringing the total to £600.00!!”


Keynsham and Saltford DAA – Generous Support

The national Dementia Action Week of May 20th – 26th proved to be a very financially beneficial for the Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).

On the Monday the chairman of the DAA Alan Hale was invited to attend a meeting of the Saltford Morning WI at Saltford Hall where the president of the WI presented him with a cheque for £1000. This was the culmination of a year of fundraising by the Saltford Morning WI though the majority of the money came from their efforts at the Saltford Christmas Fair 2018 with the sale of crafts.

WI President Merrial Knight told us “The WI was pleased to have the Keynsham and Saltford DAA as their charity and made the decision in my absence and unknown to me, to save me any concern as I am the secretary of the DAA. I was very grateful for their kindness.”

On the Tuesday the DAA held two ‘open door’ dementia friends sessions at St Dunstan’s Church Hall. The evening session was not well attended with only two people taking the opportunity to learn more about dementia and how it affects people living with dementia and how best to help those people.

One was a gentleman who revealed that he was attending the session because his wife had recently been diagnosed as having dementia and he wanted to take advantage of the free session to be better prepared. At the end of the session he rose to leave and thanked both of the presenters and handed an envelope to one of the presenters Vice Chair of the DAA June Brassington and then he left. After he had gone June opened the envelope and found a cheque for £1000.

June told us “I was absolutely surprised and amazed at this gentleman’s outstanding generosity. We are eager to ensure that our ‘Music for the Mind’ sessions are sustainable financially and this will go a long way to helping that to be so.”

The DAA run regular ‘Music for the Mind’ sessions on the second and fourth Thursday of each month between 1030 and 1215 at St Dunstan’s Church Hall. Anyone who has had a diagnosis of dementia is welcome together with their carer. It is all free and at the beginning of the session those there enjoy tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits as well as conversation. Then they move into a circle for the singing.

Chairman Alan Hale told us “These sessions are great fun and much enjoyment is had by those who attend and it is heart warming to watch people come out of themselves and sing along. However to meet the cost we are extremely grateful to the Saltford Morning WI for their efforts to support us and also to our benefactor on the evening of the Dementia Friends Session”

Featured photograph shows Alan Hale receiving the WI cheque from Merrial Knight – President of the Saltford Morning WI. The photo shows from left:
Merrial Knight (President), Alan Hale Chair of K&SDAA, Lynda Coles (Treasurer), Louise Martin (Secretary)


Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance – Support from Walking Footballers

The Keynsham and Saltford Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) have recently benefitted financially from the efforts of a group of men and women keen to get fit or maintain their fitness.

It is not the first time that Keynsham Town Walking Football Team have supported the work of the DAA with a large cash donation gathered through their fundraising activity.

The amazing amount of £655 was achieved through their sporting activity at a match organised to celebrate jointly the 60th birthday of Geoff Beazer one of their club and at the same time to honour the death of Geoff’s father who had been living with dementia. Each player paid to play and Clive Palmer another club member was responsible for a very well organised raffle.

Martin Coles from the club told us “As a club we are grateful for our health that allows us to play our sport but so many people nowadays have their lives touched by a relative or friend living with dementia. This fundraiser came out of such a situation and we are pleased to support the efforts of the DAA.”

The money raised was presented at the match to Merrial and Mike Knight who are respectively the secretary and treasurer of the DAA. Such financial support enables the DAA to make their twice monthly ‘Music for the Mind’ sessions sustainable and at the same time also enables them to provide literature to help in their wider efforts within the town.

Chairman of the DAA Alan Hale told us “We are extremely grateful to Keynsham Town Walking Football Club for their support yet again. Our aim is to make Keynsham and Saltford more dementia friendly and dementia inclusive and we are grateful when the community think of us and lend support.”

Background on the Walking Football Club is available at https://www.walkingfootball.com


In Memoriam – Patricia Jorgensen

We’d like to thank Patricia’s family for a kind donation made in her memory.

Her daughter (Christine) has given permission to give the account below of the impact the Music for the Mind sessions had on her.

A Keynsham resident for the last 20 years of her life (5 of which were at St Philip’s and St James) and prior to that a life long resident of Bristol. Music was a very important part of Mum’s life, and to a lesser extent my Dad’s.  Mum sang from an early age in a variety of amateur choirs – Mum was a member of the Bedminster based Bancroft Choir which won a number of Eisteddfod competitions in the late 1940s and through the 1950s; Bristol Cathedral School Parents Choir which later became more of a Community Choir associated with the Cathedral, Henleaze Ladies Choir to name a few.  

Mum carried on singing with friends some of her old Bancroft friends throughout her life regularly entertaining groups, often elderly people, only stopping about 10 years ago when it was becoming increasingly difficult for the group to travel to various venues in and around Bristol.

She would often sing to herself, care staff or her hairdresser in St Philips so I was pleased that there were times when she was able to go to the Music for the Mind sessions at St Dunstans.

My very best wishes for the continuation of this precious service.