Established in March 2012 Woodend Lifestyle Carers Group Inc (WLCG) is a volunteer group of carers who look after their loved ones suffering from memory loss caused through dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, stroke, or other acquired brain injury.
The group came into existence as a result of a Style Café organised by Carers Support Bendigo Health in late 2011. The Style Café proved to be a great success for those who attended, lessening their feelings of isolation by introducing them to other couples with common concerns.
While Bendigo Health was unable to continue funding their successful program, three of the couples decided to ‘go it alone’ with meetings commencing early in 2012. Within the year, the group had grown to 32 couples and since that time has helped support over two hundred families in the Region – and it is still growing.
Thanks to some funding and great encouragement from Bendigo Health, it was possible to establish regular twice monthly meetings centred in Woodend.
The original concept had been as support for carers; it was seen as a brief period of respite away from the mental, physical and emotional stresses involved in caring for someone 24/7 365 days a year. However, it very soon became evident that while carers needed time out, they also desired the company of their loved ones on a social level, and the first of the meetings each month therefore welcomed both parties.
In July 2015 the group successfully applied for charitable status, with tax deductible gifting awarded in 2020.