A lunch group in North Ryde has been serving up slap-up meals to people with dementia and their carers for more than two decades.
With bubbles on arrival, diners can enjoy a hearty meal (think beef stroganoff, peaches and ice-cream) for just $10.
The not-for-profit volunteer-run Ad Hoc lunch group was set up by Wahroonga’s Margaret MacMillan and husband Patrick.
Margaret was this year made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their carers.
Penny Martin, who started volunteering three years ago and now runs the lunches on the last Saturday of the month, said Ad Hoc was “addictive”.
“It was through my friendship with Margaret and Pat that I became involved with the group,” Penny said.
“Dementia is a cruel and demanding disease: carers are on-call 24-7 with little or no respite.” She added that guests can relax “in a welcoming environment where everyone understands the issues they face and meet others in the same situation.”
Volunteers include children like Rosie, nine, and Samantha, 12, who travel with their mum from Newcastle to help out.
“Last year, I enlisted the aid of Duke of Edinburgh Award students as helpers,” Penny said. “It's great to see younger people responding to the need for community service. “We start at 8am on a Saturday lunch day and finish after 4pm so it's a long day of hard physical work for our crew.”
The next lunch is August 25, 12.30pm, Vincent Fairfax Family Resource Centre, North Ryde.
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