In August 2015, a Group Services team from Zurich hosted a Tea Dance for the Eastleigh team of the Alzheimer's Society, one of three 'Zurich Cares' national charity partners. The event was held at Wells Place with music from local band, Acoustic Jazz.
The Zurich volunteers found willing dancing partners, inviting guest onto the dance floor and friendships were formed! By the end of the day almost everyone was on their feet. In fact, the event was such a success that the same team will now organise a party in December with the same band but with an Xmas theme!
The tea party was just one of 308 team volunteering projects to be taken up by Zurich employee volunteers this year, as part of the Trust's annual Challenge programme. Now in its 27th year, the Challenge programme continues to make a practical and positive difference to disadvantaged people in local communities across the UK.
'A good day ..'
One of the guests said: "I was particularly impressed with the way the Zurich team intermingled with members who have the illness and their carers. It is a tricky job to find that balance with people who may not have full understanding and I have to say it was refreshing to see the enthusiasm with which you all participated in the event. You are probably aware that the maxim is to live in the day, and provided the person who has the illness can enjoy 'the day', it matters not that the memory may not recall the whole day. Tonight at home my wife, Lynne, has clearly enjoyed her day."
“Partnership working is mentioned a lot in this sector because it can have so many benefits for the people living with dementia, but it’s rare to see such commitment from everyone involved. A huge thank you to Zurich from everyone living with dementia, loved ones and carers who have been supported by you.” Gary Walker, Services Manager, Team South New Forest, Alzheimer's Society
More stories from the Challenge frontline
Challenges are still taking place up and down the country. From Glasgow through to Fareham in Hampshire, volunteer teams are rolling up their sleeves to decorate, garden, lend a hand and entertain. All to make a difference in the community.
Here is just a small flavour of some of the fantastic projects taking place.... >>
"It was fantastic for our existing volunteers to have you guys come and visit. Many are long term unemployed, have experienced food poverty or are recovering from addictions. It gave them a real lift that Zurich wanted to come and give up their time to help us."
FareShare Southern Central, Hampshire