PALZ UK began in March 2018 after a lot of work raising awareness of the purpose of the organisation, which aims to provide those in the early stage of dementia with stimulating activity, in a work type environment, with others of similar background. We have now completed two full years.

The Inaugural group meets every two months at the Shropshire Conference centre, where there is a talk by a high calibre speaker. Before, after and indeed often part way through the talk, there is coffee and cake and an opportunity for discussion and socialising. Many stay on for lunch in the excellent dining room.

PALZ is providing a service which has hitherto been lacking, to those from challenging and demanding jobs, who are now living with Alzheimer’s or dementia from other causes.

No one will be turned away. The only eligibility criterion is that the person is in the early stage of dementia, though some may be a little further down the road, but still able to be stimulated and challenged by the talks.

It soon became apparent here in Shropshire that there was relief that PALZ had been set up. Feedback has included:

“This is the first time I have seen my husband smile in weeks!”

“People at PALZ understand that just because your memory isn’t good, you still have a brain” and

“Well organised and no dumbing down”

The group consists of delightful people, all men apart from two ladies. Some come on their own, but most come with partners. This has led to supportive friendships being formed and some participants have joined the committee.

Since March 2019 we have had 5 excellent talks and I would urge anyone who has not looked at the website to see the reports – 

The following have taken place:

19th March 2019 James Warman, The Assistive Technology and Telecare Coordinator in Housing services at Shropshire Council, gave a talk entitled “Helping People to remain independent in their own homes”

21st May 2019 Jonothan Walton –A Glaciologist and former General Assistant for the British Antarctic Society gave a talk about his work.

16th July 2019 Philip Dunn gave a talk about his life as a Fleet Street photographer.

17th September 2019 Dr Mary Heber, a Retired Cardiologist and Colonel in the TA gave a talk on “Medicine in War zones”

19th November 2019 Mr Brian Legg, Trustee of Heartwood Arboretum in Hertfordshire gave a talk on the work of the Trust

21st January 2020 Mr Brian Nelson, a Director of the ‘Shrewsbury and Newport Canals Trust’, gave a talk on the work of the Trust

All of the above generously gave their time and expertise to PALZ UK and we are so very grateful. They all gave stimulating and thought provoking talks!

We were looking forward to the talk planned for March by Andy Begley, Director of Adult Social services on “Big Data Solving Big Issues”, but unfortunately due to the lockdown caused by Covid 19, this had to be cancelled.

Our aim is to obtain sponsorship for each event and we are extremely grateful to the following:-

Miller Evans Estate Agents
Mfg Solicitors
Clarkes solicitors
Paul Ray Magician and Comedy Entertainer

Shropshire Homes

For the website, we continue to be incredibly grateful to Richard Steedman of Brass Comet who set it up at a hugely reduced cost.

We are so grateful to the former manager of the Shropshire Conference centre, Sandra Sturge and the current Manager, Paul Lewis, who have  encouraged and supported those of us involved and provided, at the centre, the perfect meeting place for PALZ as you will see on the web site.

What next for PALZ UK? 

  • We need to continue to look for speakers and business sponsors to plan for future meetings.

Please let us know if you are aware of businesses keen to sponsor.

  • To keep the vibrancy of the Shropshire group alive.

The number of participants has steadily increased and, at the last meeting in March, we had an attendance of 43! Thanks are due to the committee, a mixture of participants and supporters.

  • To become a registered Charity and spread PALZ UK across the UK

Initial work took place in the year to March 2020 leading to work later in 2020 on a new Constitution, a Business Plan, a financial forecast and supporting policies. An application will be submitted in June 2020 and there will be more to set out in the report 2020 to 2021. Hopefully, some very good news!

Thanks are due to all the volunteers and to the very lively participants of PALZ Shropshire

Liz Holdsworth