Do-it-yourself anti-dementia

Sunday regular Peter Leith says he is “half blind and half deaf”, but that has only added to his insights. In a continuation of his Aspects of Ageing series, the 90-year-old applauds a social group that puts simplicity before governance.


At the Pottsville Neighbourhood Community Centre there’s a group called Stretch Your Mind. The driving force and group facilitator is a retired teacher aged 87. The group’s physical and mental activities are designed to do exactly what the name implies – stretch the minds of the participants.

The group meets for three hours every Thursday from noon.

Perhaps the most remarkable and noteworthy aspect of this group is that it works … from the ground up and not from the top down.

It has no constitution, president, secretary, committee, minutes or annual general meeting. It just concentrates on activities that keep its members minds ‘stretched’.

It does not have to be a large group. Too big would kill it. All it needs is to get its members involved.

It does not need, want or demand government funding. It illustrates that from-the-ground-up movements are, often, much more successful than towering edifices of top-down bureaucracy.

Why don’t you, too, have a go at starting a from-the-ground-up group?

Do you have an idea or observation for Peter? Send it to [email protected] and put ‘Sunday’ in the subject line and we will forward it to him.

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