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CST volunteering

You will work in a small team alongside an accredited session leader to support weekly group sessions based on the structure of recognised Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST).



You will support group members to join in with activities, offer refreshments and help prepare and deliver creative and other activities. You may run the sessions yourself if you become accredited after 1 days training. You may also give general support to the carers group which meets in tandem to the CST sessions.

About Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is a recommended therapy based on stimulating activities and exercises in a group. People find this helps memory and communication. The aim of the group is to provide an opportunity for those with early stage dementia to meet with others in similar situation and offer support and a shared understanding of their situation. To have fun in a relaxed and supportive environment and to provide some time out for attendees and give them and their carers a break from each other. 

There are 14 weekly 1 hour sessions, which follow the same general pattern and provide a choice of activities to cater for the interests of group members. Each week there is a theme – for example ‘Holidays’ where the group has ice cream and discuss where they might go in the world if money were no object.

This is a new area for Carers in Bedfordshire and is part of our expanding suite of memory services. CST currently runs in Leighton Buzzard, with staff and three accredited volunteers (Monday 11 – 12 noon). We plan to run in other locations and to offer follow up sessions.

What we are looking for

No previous experience is necessary

Committed and reliable volunteers.

Empathy and understanding of the needs of people with memory loss and their carers.
Confident in group settings and ability to contribute to planning and evaluation of sessions.

Willing to make and offer refreshments
An understanding of the importance of confidentiality and adherence to the confidentiality policy.

How you will be supported in this role

Named contact/ member of staff; team support
If you become an accredited leader, you will have regular clinical supervision

How much time will you need to give?

2 hours a week – the team meets 30 minutes before and after each 1 hour session

What you get out of this
  • Join a small friendly team and meet new people
  • Gain experience in social care and group support work on an accredited programme
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