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Approach is pleased to offer a new type of Day Care Group for people living with dementia; Branching Out.

Approach has been providing specialist day groups for people living with dementia and related health issues for many years. In 2014, following requests from some group members and their carers Approach started running male only supported day groups called Men in Sheds which focusses on more practical, hands on activities.

The success of Men in Sheds has now led to requests for similar groups for females. Approach therefore has developed a new Gardening & Activities Day Care Group; Branching Out, based at the Brook Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme which welcomes both men and women.

Research has shown that remaining active and pursuing interests and hobbies has a positive impact on the progression of dementia. Additionally, socialising with other people with similar interests in a supported group helps to maintain communication skills.

Throughout the day group members can participate in a wide range of activities and there are occasional visits and trips out to places of interest. We provide a high quality personalised service for individuals, supporting the specific interests they enjoy. Our aim is for group members to have an enjoyable day and for their family and carers to have time for themselves, knowing that their loved one is being well supported and cared for.


On 22nd October, we celebrated the launch of this new group which included the grand opening of Approach’s brand new bespoke workshop which has been generously donated to Approach in memory of much loved Men in Sheds group member, John Bennion.

Following the death of his brother, John; and to say thank you for the support received by Approach, Howard Bennion has generously donated £1,250.00 to allow Approach to purchase a new workshop for their Newcastle-under-Lyme site.

When John first started in the Men in Sheds group, he was quiet and reserved, a few short weeks later, he became well immersed and a much loved member of the group. John enjoyed the male company of the other members, staff and volunteers. He enjoyed board games with his peers, going to the pub, frequent museum trips and pottering around outside in the shed.

John was only a member of the group for 10 months before he died, but the group had such a huge impact on John and the rest of his family, especially his brother, Howard.

“I was delighted that John eventually settled so well since he had previously struggled with many other social groups. John went to the Men in Sheds group twice a week and it meant he was getting out of the house instead of just watching TV. He really looked forward to going and meeting up with his friends”

The tailor made workspace has wide doors and will soon have a small ramp to ensure it is accessible for all group members wishing to use the space.


As a thank you to Howard and his family for this unbelievably generous gift, we have affixed a plaque in John’s memory to the exterior and framed a photo of John for the interior so that the members can remember John while they spend time outdoors.

We were delighted Howard and his family could join us to cut the ribbon and to officially open the workshop in memory of John.

Thank you to John’s family for their outstanding generosity and for supporting us to improve our Men in Sheds and Branching Out services. This has allowed them to take part in meaningful activities that John especially would have thoroughly enjoyed.

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