Community is what drives Our Vision at The Westport Club. We are driven to making a significant contribution to the quality of community life and supporting others and organisations to do the same! We wanted to shine a light on an initiative that embodies this very Vision – creating a connected and supportive community within our region.
The Westport Travel Club is a sub-club in our community, sharing a combined passion of travel and working together to make an impact to support local initiatives where they can. This club is an amazing group of over 100 members who meet every third Tuesday of the month at our Event Centre in The Westport Club – socialising, connecting and going on some great excursions! An incredible outlet for members to get out and explore the Port Macquarie surrounds with like-minded people. Alongside the social opportunities The Westport Travel Club offers its members, they also collectively share a united purpose to give back to their local community. This year their generosity has focused on the support of local organisation, “The Greater Port Macquarie Dementia Friendly Alliance”.
The Greater Port Macquarie Dementia Friendly Alliance was established in 2012, driven to discuss and reflect on the challenges facing those living with dementia within our community. You may be familiar with The Alliance from our previous blog which you can read here. The Alliance consists of people living with dementia, their families & carers, and other supporting community members. Their aim is simple – develop the first dementia friendly community in NSW, right here in Port Macquarie! Providing access, support and opportunities for those living with dementia to be truly included and recognised within our community without barriers.
Day-to-day The Alliance focuses on supporting people, businesses, and social groups across the Port Macquarie area to become dementia friendly and make a difference in the lives of nearly 2,500 local people living with dementia in our region. Creating a community that is dementia friendly is at the forefront of their work, providing information outlets and community awareness about the impact living with dementia has on individuals and their support networks.
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”
– Howard Zinn
As a show of their support, The Westport Travel Club has donated $1000 to The Alliance – allowing them to fund an upcoming project that aims to raise awareness and promote activity to support those with Younger Onset Dementia. Younger Onset Dementia is defined as being any form of dementia that develops before the age of 65 and has been diagnosed in people as young as 30. With this early diagnosis individuals are faced with some very challenging times as they navigate care, support and solutions that are simply not tailored or suitable for them – becoming quickly isolated and apprehensive of an unknown future.
When presenting their donation to The Greater Port Macquarie Dementia Friendly Alliance, The Westport Travel Club held an event where they heard first-hand the effect that both living with dementia has on people, and how their incredible collective generosity will impact future. An impactful speaker of the event Kerry West is an incredible advocate and member of The Alliance – knowing first-hand the challenges those living with dementia face as she navigates her journey with her husband’s diagnosis. Kerry detailed the true experience of supporting someone you love living with dementia – the isolation, support dropping off, and once close networks breaking down. An insight that many are not aware of and lack an understanding of how to help.
“I would love to see Port Macquarie and surrounds become a more inclusive and accessible community for all people. If we can contribute to it being more dementia friendly, then everyone in the community will benefit.”
– Julie Dunn, Just Better Care Mid North Coast
President of The Westport Travel Club, Anne Gaffney, spoke at the event telling of their collective mission to make that difference and impact the journey of others positively. The generosity of the club with their annual donation continues that core mission of creating a connected and supportive community within our region. This isn’t the first donation provided by the club – they have also contributed to organisations such as The Port Macquarie Lions Club, Lifeline Mid Coast, Ronald McDonald House, and more! Their continued support of local organisations and innovative projects creates a lasting impact for others and their quality of life. As locals they know the importance of supporting and connecting to local people, groups and organisations – continuing a legacy of passionate community contributors.
Well done to The Westport Travel Club and their members – without each of you and your drive to make an impact, donations such as these would not be made possible! If you would like to join The Westport Travel Club to experience exciting excursions with a group of like-minded people, contact The Westport Club at [email protected] . They are always welcoming new members and have a full calendar of trips planned for 2022/23!
Wondering how you too can make an impact?
The Greater Port Macquarie Dementia Friendly Alliance is always welcoming individuals and groups to join and share their own experiences. Remember – support is available! If you, or someone you know, is living with dementia reach out to the alliance! Organisations such as these make it possible to build connections and seek the support you need. We would highly recommend you check out their website here, and their Facebook page here to see their journey continue.