A ground-breaking organisation which for eight years has provided social clubs for adults living with dementia in Keswick and North Cumbria will not open again this year due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Amy’s Care community interest company, which was founded by Fraser Dooley, of Ireby, provided days out for older adults in the north Lakes with daily social clubs held Keswick, Ireby and Carlisle. On average 60 people a week would enjoy days out with the care group.
Fraser and his wife Rebecca, and their staff and volunteers had been willing and able to push the boundaries and make good things possible for Amy’s Care’s clients.
Fraser said: “Amy’s Care became something of a dementia care specialist due to the way the club members were cared for, kept interested and busy.”
In February, Amy’s Care had been awarded funding to support its eco-friendly, low-cost sustainable transport initiative from Carling.
Funding for training and recruiting volunteers to pilot the Amy’s Care trishaw pilots had been secured from the Marston’s brewery company’s Carling Made Local campaign, which supports a range of community projects across the UK.
Fraser had purchased two trishaws to help the elderly, despite their limited mobility, get back on a bike, and out in the open air in the countryside.
But Fraser has said that in spite of all the benefits for clients, the risk of restarting the clubs under current Covid-19 conditions is too great to be justified, and would put clients and their families in real danger.
He said: “The control measures that would be needed to address the risk are so demanding it makes the clubs unviable. This reality looks set to continue for some time, if not for ever.
“It has been a wonderful rollercoaster over the past eight years of Amy’s Care and I am confident it has made a hugely positive difference to people’s lives.”
He added: “My personal thanks goes to the team that have built Amy’s Care with me, all our customers for trusting, believing and supporting us wholeheartedly, and the volunteers and the people of Cumbria for their support and generosity which has enabled our adventures.”
Amy’s Care management team will re-evaluate the organisation’s position in 2021.