How to support Guideposts

A Tribute to Michael Mumby: A Special CONNECT Member

Mike smiling

CONNECT members and staff want to celebrate a very special member of one of our CONNECT groups, Michael ‘Mike’ Mumby, who had been a much-loved member for over a decade. CONNECT leader Liz Pollock shares why Michael was such a valued member of the group.

Mike in Liz’s Words

I first met Mike in 2010 when he joined CONNECT with his former wife, Hazel. Hazel was living with dementia, and Mike was her main carer. He knew little about caring for someone with dementia and was seeking advice.

Mike would join the carers group and Hazel would join the group for people with dementia. Mike very quickly became a popular member of the group, and supported other carers experiencing a similar thing to himself.

Shortly after, another couple, Laura and Farrokh joined the group and became good friends with Mike and Hazel. Mike would often take Farrokh out for an afternoon drive to give Laura a little respite.

From the beginning, Mike was a very active member, always willing to help. He helped us fundraise through fashion shows, raffles, karaoke and plays.

Mike had an array of Abba costumes and along with Jan, Laura, and myself, he persuaded is to do a karaoke to entertain the other members. Everyone thought it hilarious! Mike had such a loud, deep voice, he was always called upon to shout out the numbers on raffle tickets and lead in Christmas carols and ‘Happy Birthday’ sing-alongs. He was even a member of his local choir, having a brass baritone voice, and was a member of his local drama group too. He would often dress up and play the part! Mike and his CONNECT friends helped form a lunch club, who would meet and discuss ways to fundraise for CONNECT, such as the well-remembered Fashion Show!

Mike in fancy dress

Mike and Laura

Sadly, Hazel’s dementia took its toll, and she passed away in July 2013. Mike continued to attend CONNECT and support the other members. In September, Farrokh passed away and Laura continued to attend the group, again offering empathy and support to others. Mike and Laura remained friends and supported each other in their loss.

After their friendship grew, Laura and Mike tied the knot on 11th October 2014. They continued to come to CONNECT and did so much to help support the other members. One treasured gift was a Boccia game for older people, which we still use today at CONNECT. Laura and Mike provided support for Jan and Lyn, another couple living with dementia.

Mike would take Lyn out for the day to allow Jan some ‘me time’. Mike, Laura, Jan and Lyn enjoyed holidays together. They once visited the Norfolk Broads and took turns steering a boat to the next pub!

Mike and CONNECT friends on a boat

Then Covid came along. Mike and Laura continued to attend the group from home via Zoom. When we reopened our in-person services, were overjoyed to welcome everyone back.

Sadly, Mike’s health started to deteriorate due to cancer- “an unwelcome visitor”, he would say. He and Laura still treasured the support of the CONNECT group, and for their 7th wedding anniversary, Mike wanted to take all CONNECT members, volunteers, and staff out for a meal. Mike kindly paid for everyone, even those members who had only just joined.

Over the following months, Mike’s health deteriorated, but he still came to CONNECT. He fought with great courage and determination, always hopeful and positive, as was Laura. It was only during the last few weeks of his life that Mike was unable to attend. On out annual Christmas lunch, I rang Laura and we sang carols to Mike. Somehow, in his weakened state, he found the strength to join in. It meant so much to Mike.

I visited Mike and Laura at home shortly before his death. He was able to chat to me. I held his hand, and despite his pain, I could still feel the warmth and passion coming from him.

Mike passed away on December 27th, after spending a quiet Christmas with his loving family.

We all miss Mike terribly. A ‘larger-than-life’ character, with a heart if gold, who would do anything for anybody- a remarkable man and much loved. We continue to support and love Laura, as she shares her experiences with other carers and those living with dementia.

Mike will always have a very special place in all our hearts.

Thank you, Mike, for everything!

In memory of Mike

We always welcome volunteers and donations to help us ensure CONNECT is there to support people facing a dementia diagnosis.

If you are experiencing bereavement, you may find Mind’s directory of support services helpful.

Comments are closed.

Join the Guideposts community 

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to hear how you can help us support people with learning disabilities, dementia, or complex mental health problems, and make a real difference to their lives:

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.

/ ( DD/MM )
Would like to hear about
Information about Guideposts' work
Fundraising Challenges
Job Opportunities
Supporting Guideposts