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Memory club has famous fan

PUBLISHED: 17:03 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:58 03 July 2010

Mel Thomas, Eastenders actress Laila Morse and Michael Cable

Mel Thomas, Eastenders actress Laila Morse and Michael Cable

Liz Coates

EastEnders actress Laila Morse is back on set after a memorable holiday in Gran Canaria - the scene of a developing link between the cast and a Great Yarmouth support service.

EastEnders actress Laila Morse is back on set after a memorable holiday in Gran Canaria - the scene of a developing link between the cast and a Great Yarmouth support service.

In a storyline a world away from Albert Square the actress best-known for her role as no-nonsense market trader Mo Harris forged a friendship with Mel Thomas of Great Yarmouth and was moved to tears by her caring work.

Mrs Thomas who runs a memory club for people with Alzheimer's Disease with her partner Michael Cable struck up conversation with Ms Morse by the pool while on holiday over New Year and was buoyed by her interest in the service.

She described her as a “really caring and lovely person” and was stunned when she asked Mrs Thomas to send her a T shirt for the whole EastEnders cast to sign to help boost funds at the club which relies on local fundraising and grants.

The club which meets at St Andrews Chapter House Gorleston on Tuesday has just celebrated its fifth anniversary with the opening of another group at the Magdalen Methodist Church.

It helps people who may be isolated by their condition with a range of activities including music and memory and offers them a home-cooked meal.

Retired social services manager Mrs Thomas, 73, said she was passionate about helping people with dementia and making a difference. Her work was aimed at helping people retain what memory function they had left, adding: “I have seen how it works and it does make a difference. It helps people to manage and feel less isolated.”

Mrs Thomas was recognised as an unsung hero for her memory club work and rewarded with lunch with the Queen. She said she was delighted her club was getting wider recognition and was even known in soap circles.

For more information about the Chapter House club which meets on Tuesdays call Jean Murray on 01493 662754 and for the Magdalen club which meets on Wednesdays call Carol Gibbs on 01493 601603.


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