THE re-launch of a popular Lechlade social club took place last week after organisers secured enough funding to keep the group running for another year.

Memory Clubs UK holds 'dementia friendly' social clubs all across Gloucestershire for all elderly people, whether or not they suffer from dementia.

The non-profit company previously benefited from a one large donation, which had kept the earliest groups running for almost four years.

Worried the sessions might not be able to continue after the money ran out, organisers searched for further funding opportunities and were overjoyed when local charity Crossroads Care stepped up to help fund the Lechlade club.

"The groups were initially funded by a very generous man who lives near Bourton-on-the-Water," said director of Memory Clubs UK Kelly Hennessey-Ford. "We set up 10 groups in the north and south cotswolds and his donation covered them for three and a half years. But we didn't feel we could really ask him again."

Crossroads Care is a non-profit charity providing support for carers and the people they care for, working with over 50,000 individuals and their families.

Memory Clubs UK has now secured funding from various charities and individuals for all 13 clubs for the full year. The clubs in Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach were both funded by Moore Friends based in Bourton.

Each club across the county is well attended, with the Lechlade-based club seeing an average of 20 people each month. The clubs also offer respite care, meaning carers can have a few hours to relax or run errands.

"We always ask the people who come to the clubs what they want to do," continued Kelly. "They do cooking, arts and crafts, gardening and more. We always do a bit of exercise to music at the start of the group, called circle dancing."

Kelly went on to say the group receives good feedback from those who attend, and their carers. "They all laugh and smile while they're with us," she said.

The Memory Club at Lechlade, called the Young at Heart Club, takes place at St Birinus Court in Lechlade on the fourth Friday of every month between 9.30am-1.30pm.

Memory Clubs UK is currently having its own website developed but in the meantime, director with Kelly, Val McKay said anyone interested in finding a club near them could email or call 07717 374484.