TV star Paul drops in at the Eva Bur­rows Cen­tre

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Cam­bus­lang’s Eva Bur­rows Cen­tre ap­peared on na­tional TV at the week­end when co­me­dian Paul O’Grady paid a visit.

The fea­ture was part of the BBC’s ‘Paul O’Grady: The Sally Army and Me’ se­ries.

Liver­pudlian Paul spent a day with man­ager San­dra Sned­don, work­ing as a vol­un­teer at the Sal­va­tion Army fa­cil­ity, which pro­vides spe­cialised sup­port to older peo­ple with de­men­tia and their fam­i­lies.

He chat­ted with users of the ser­vice and was amazed to see the cen­tre’s in­no­va­tive rem rem­i­nis­cence room. This has been fur­nished to look just like a typ­i­cal liv­ing room from the 1940s to tap into mem­o­ries from the past.

In emo­tional scenes that went on air on Sun­day night, Paul spent time with Ge­orgie McNel­lie, from Cam­bus­lang, who suf­fers from ad­vanced de­men­tia.

He also chat­ted with her fam­ily, grand­daugh­ter Claire and daugh­ter-in­law, Marie.

Ex­plain­ing the work they do at Eva Bur­rows, cen­tre man­ager San­dra said: “The aim of our cen­tre is to make peo­ple happy, to make peo­ple laugh, to en­joy life as much as they can. We have got to make peo­ple’s jour­ney with de­men­tia as ful­fill­ing as it can be.”

She added: “We have got to see past de­men­tia and that is part of our job. There’s al­ways ways of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with some­one. We can al­ways get through to some­one.”

Af­ter help­ing Ge­orgie wash some dishes and en­joy­ing a quick song, Paul met with Claire and Marie.

In heart­break­ing scenes, Claire de­scribed what it is like to care for a fam­ily mem­ber who no longer recog­nises her, say­ing: “It’s hard, but I am go­ing to make sure I keep that re­la­tion­ship be­cause she’s my gran.

“I go and see her nearly ev­ery day and she does not know who I am, she just thinks I’m a carer. she does not know any­more. It’s re­ally, re­ally dif­fi­cult.”

Af­ter en­joy­ing a dance with ser­vice users, Paul heaps praise on the cen­tre and the fam­i­lies of those suf­fer­ing de­men­tia.

Ad­mit­ting it is one of his worst night­mares, he says: “They’re such lovely peo­ple. We don’t look af­ter the el­derly in this coun­try, we don’t treat them with enough re­spect.

“They are seen an dod­dery old peo­ple who go down the street with a zim­mer frame.

“They could have been a spy in the war, you don’t know what they have done, they could have had re­mark­able lives and we tend to dis­miss them and that is wrong, so lets get it sorted.”

The cen­tre, which is run in part­ner­ship with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, was cho­sen to ap­pear on the pro­gramme for its ex­per­tise in de­men­tia care, hav­ing been named the best Sal­va­tion Army cen­tre in the UK and Ire­land in 2010 and 2012. San­dra was also crowned cen­tre man­ager of the year in 2014.

Af­ter­wards, San­dra, who cares for her own dad who has Alzheimer’s, said she would be happy to em­ploy the star at the cen­tre, adding: “Hope­fully he got a real un­der­stand­ing of what we do here.

“He had a chat with one of the so­cial work­ers and as a for­mer so­cial worker him­self re­ally un­der­stood the mul­tia­gency part­ner­ship work­ing that is in­volved.

“It was a lot of fun but it was also se­ri­ous and emo­tional at times.”

Lov­ing fam­ily Ge­orgie McNel­lie with grand­daugh­ter Claire and her young fam­ily dur­ing the pro­gramme

Lets dance Paul dances with ser­vice user Mar­garet McDougall

Meet­ing up Paul meets cen­tre man­ager San­dra Sned­don

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