Memory Cafe says farewell to June

Trustee member Adrian Ford and chairman Rachel Johnstone presented flowers to June Waters on her las

Trustee member Adrian Ford and chairman Rachel Johnstone presented flowers to June Waters on her last day as a volunteer at the Sid Valley Memory Cafe. - Credit: Archant

A widow has backed the Sid Valley Memory Café’s Admiral Nurse Campaign after marrying twice and seeing both husbands suffer from dementia.

June Waters worked as a professional carer at the former Stowford Lodge for more than 20 years as an activities therapist.

The 81-year-old remarried after the death of her first husband, Geoffrey, who she cared for until he could no longer live at home.

Her second husband, Edward, was diagnosed with vascular dementia, which led him to sometimes be aggressive and prone to wandering.

She said: “If there had been an Admiral Nurse available in the Sidmouth area, I would have appreciated the help and support and my husband would have been able to remain at home.

“It is so badly needed in the Sid Valley and could also give hope to all the carers - many of whom could not cope. I was one of them.”

After retiring, June volunteered at the Sid Valley Memory Café, where she has helped for five years.

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Memory café members and trustees thanked June for her work as she said goodbye on Wednesday afternoon. She has now retired from her voluntary role.

Café chairman Rachel Johnstone said: “June has contributed so much with her knowledge as a professional carer and her experience as a family carer. She has helped organise events and we are all very grateful.”

June wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron about the need for a dementia specialist in the Sid Valley.

Currently, the memory café, in partnership with the Herald, has raised more than £35,000 of the £100,000 needed to bring an Admiral Nurse to the area.

June added: “Sadly, our government, due to lack of money, cannot give nationally or locally to people desperately needing help or coping with family members suffering.”

She said that she would come back to the memory café and visit.

June added: “It is lovely to see people going away happy and their self-esteem comes back, especially in the reminiscence sessions where they remember the past and they think ‘I’m not so bad if I can remember that.’”

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