Day Centre Manager Bethany Smith and her team were sad to say goodbye to their Golden Jubilee Trust volunteer Sadie Howton, as her six-month placement setting up a Dementia Project at the William and Patricia Venton Centre in Northampton came to an end on 23rd March 2022. Sadie was one of only 22 John Lewis Partners to be awarded a Golden Jubilee Trust volunteer opportunity in Spring 2021.
Sadie, whose mother had sadly died at quite a young age with vascular dementia, said that it was her family’s experience of caring for a relative living with the disease that had motivated her to support Age UK Northamptonshire. “My family pulled together to provide the care that Mum needed but as the disease progressed, we found it physically and emotionally challenging. If we had known about the services that Age UK Northamptonshire had to offer, we would have taken full advantage of them.”
John Lewis & Partners describe the Golden Jubilee Trust as a way of allowing Partners to do what is impossible without an award, going above and beyond what is already being done. Day Centre Manager Bethany Smith said “Sadie has absolutely done just that for our day centre clients and for the whole charity. My team has learnt so much from her. We have benefitted from her drive and her organisational skills and her John Lewis & Partners ethos. At the same time, she has such a caring nature that our day centre clients instantly warmed to her and have loved having her around. She made everyone feel better just by being here.”
Sadie said “I’ve loved every minute at the day centre and I shall miss everyone so much. It’s been such a privilege to work in such a very different environment to my normal day job. I have seen the positive impact that coming to the day centre has on older people, their faces light up when they see their friends and the staff.”
Age UK Northamptonshire’s Business Director Sue Watts thanked Sadie for her huge contribution to the charity over the past six months and said “You have completely fulfilled the brief, developing a dementia training package for staff and volunteers which will improve life for hundreds of older people every year. You leave the charity in a better place than when you joined.”
Day centre clients Ann and Dennis [pictured] said they would miss Sadie too and were delighted to present her with cards and gifts on behalf of the charity.
To find out more about the services and support provided by Age UK Northamptonshire, or to get involved with fundraising activities, please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/northamptonshire or call 01604 611200.