Our Charity, Winnie's Hope
The inspiration for our charity, Winnie’s Hope, is a previous resident, Winnie Westbrook.
With her daughter Leonie’s blessing, we have founded Winnie’s Hope to help us raise awareness of dementia, help offer support to those living with a dementia & their informal carers in our community.
Our aim is to promote inclusion in our local area that will enable those living with a dementia the support they need to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible.
This may mean by supporting their families in a variety of ways.
For those that do not have close family to help them on a day to day basis we hope to have an independent Advocacy service that will assist with ensuring their rights are upheld and they can access services that they may not otherwise known about.
The reason we decided to name it after Winnie was simply because she had touched our hearts in such an indelible way.
Winnie was the first person we tried doll therapy with. This is a controversial technique that some are opposed to as they think it is wrong to give an elderly person a toy to play with.
This is a view that we do not hold in with. Our experience has shown us that caring about a baby gives an enormous sense of purpose and focuses on the feeling of being valued and needed by the baby. It may also offer a comfort to the individual that hasn’t been felt for many years.
Winnie took her baby with her everywhere and as her daughter Leonie explained in a recent podcast, it gave her something to talk about on family visits.
Leonie also goes on to tell us that her mum loved her doll so much that she had it with her in her coffin.
This type of therapy doesn’t work for everyone, every individual is unique and some people will have no interest in it, but it proved highly successful for Winnie.
It is our hope that Winnie’s Hope will be able to provide support for many people in our community.