Reflections is a voluntary service, set up by husband and wife, Peter and Janet Ley in July 2016.
We have personal experience of dementia, as we supported and cared for Peter’s dad, for almost 12 years, when he had vascular dementia. We know first-hand what it is like to live along-side the changes that dementia brings and the challenges faced in liaising with organisations and professionals to find out about, and get the help and support needed.
Larger organisations are needed to carry out research to find a cure and campaign for change. However, these things will come in the future. In the meantime, there are people living with dementia now. We want to do what we can and share knowledge that we did not have when we were carers, that we believe can make a difference.
Following retirement from full-time work Peter volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Society Friends Together Cafe from its launch on 15/9/2015. Earlier that year he trained to be a Dementia Friends Champion. By the end of June 2019 Peter had held 40 Dementia Friends sessions reaching over 800 people. In 2018 Peter completed a four month apprenticeship scheme, run by The European Reminiscence Network, for people who wished to become accredited facilitators of reminiscence groups for people with dementia and their carers.
Wanting to help to make a difference, Janet joined the Alzheimer’s Society in October 2007, initially as the Lewisham and Greenwich branch manager. Then, wanting to be more directly involved with people with dementia, in 2009 she became one of the first Dementia Advisors in the country. She left the Society in July 2016. Remaining passionate about helping people with dementia and carers, the week after she left, she held the first Reflections Friendship Group on 12 July 2016.
Following feedback and recognition of how difficult it can be, especially for working carers, to find help and support, we decided to set up an evening carers’ support group and this launched on 13 March 2017.
In November 2018 we were delighted to be awarded Dementia Inclusive Greenwich status following an assessment by the Dementia Reference Group. This means our group is a socially inclusive space for people with dementia and their carers. Dementia Greenwich Inclusive status is an initiative by the council of the Royal Borough of Greenwich as part of their aim for Greenwich to become a dementia friendly Borough.
We are group led and aim to deliver what our “friends” tell us they would like. We could could not have achieved what we have without the help of others. We are grateful that so many people have wanted to be involved in various ways. We are amazed what can be achieved in our community.
We could not run our groups without the help of our lovely team members. To meet the team see here