top of page


Charles was born in 1930 in Epsom, whose parents ran a Haberdashery shop. He was a very bright lad earning a place at London university to do a BSc and PhD in Chemistry and later another PhD at Cambridge. He also completed 2 years National Service in the RAF. After starting a family and spending a couple of years in Canada, Charles returned to Surrey to work at the National Physical Laboratories in Teddington. He later lectured at Sir John Cass College in London in the field of Corrosion, where he was part of the advisory team to the Thames Barrier project. He lived in Sunbury and later Upper Halliford. He was a man of service offering his time to school PTA and St Mary's Church in Sunbury for many years.

He had some idea in 2008 that he was getting forgetful but the family didn't notice a significant decline until 2011. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease with Vascular Dementia officially in 2012. After attending another day centre where he found the community building too busy, someone suggested ‘The Orchard’.

Charles has been attending for nearly 2yrs now. The team at the Orchard sees beyond Charles's Dementia. They accept him as he is. They offer him alternative activities. Allow him to enjoy the grounds. Allow him to take the ladies for a dance and correct their spellings on occasions! They laugh at his plays on words and put up with his grumpy moments and logical obsessions.

'We as a family have had to get to know our dad all over again. We have had to adjust our behaviour in order to stay connected to him. This is a hard thing to do Our dad was a man of intellect, his mental abilities and use of words was what he was. To see that die slowly is hard especially when we all live away from home now. It a great comfort that we know dad is safe and still able to be stimulated by attending The Orchards and being around others. We as a family are very lucky to have found the Orchard to support us too. Dad may not remember how many times he goes but he is happy to go and has commented on not wanting to leave when the taxi arrives. A good enough endorsement for us!'

Please note, some of the identities in these case studies have been obscured to protect their identity

Copyright: Dave Shepherd

bottom of page