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Volunteer Lands Full Time Role Making Memories

A volunteer at a charity that supports people with dementia and their families has joined the team as a full time member of staff.

20 year old Shannon Dees started volunteering last year supporting the centre manager at Silverline Memories, Jo Batty-Wilkins. When the position for office administrator came free she jumped at the chance and is now involved in huge variety of work for the charity.

As well as overseeing the telephone and reception duties, Shannon also oversees finance including bookkeeping, invoicing and payroll. She also manages organising staff training and office administration, as well helping out with the EBay shop. CEO and charity funder Sandra Coulter said:

“Shannon has been a god send, quickly settling into the role and keeping the ship going in a straight line. The need for our services grows weekly as more and more people are diagnosed with dementia, so it is important we grow the team and bring in people that have a passion for what we do and that clients take to. I have no worries on that front with Shannon as not only does she do a good job, but everyone wants to dance with her at our events.”

Shannon has joined as the charity is celebrating its first successful decade supporting people in the North East, and the team are currently organising a commemorative Hollywood themed ball on Saturday May 11th, at the Grand Hotel, Gosforth Park.

Set up 10 years ago the charity, which is based in Kenton, was founded because of a passionate belief that life should not end with a diagnosis of dementia. The team work hard to provide opportunities to keep people active and engaged, connecting with each other to enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing. The charity currently supports 280 people across 158 households, and with its 2024 fundraising drive and its new wellbeing centre recently opened at Kenton Shopping Centre, the team hope to be able to support many more families who are affected by the condition. Shannon, who has a foundation degree in health and social work, said:

“It is quite simply the best job ever. Having previously worked in hospitality I am used to dealing with the public, but the service users here are all so lovely that every day is a pleasure. The job does keep me on my toes though, which is good as I get a lot of satisfaction from it and I never go home sad at the end of a working day!”

Although the charity is funded by grants from national and local trusts and organisations, the generosity of supporters and corporate donations are key. With that in mind, Silverline Memories are reaching out to anyone who would like to sponsor the Hollywood themed ball, provide a prize for the raffle or to any restaurants / food outlets who will donate a voucher to the grub grab raffle being held on the night.

Tickets can be bought at and more information on the charity is available on the charity’s website.