Portsmouth ex-skinhead and ex-hippy become friends after bonding over dementia journeys

A SKINHEAD and a hippy have formed an unlikely friendship after bonding over their different experiences with dementia.

Clive Good and Terry Thurling
Clive Good and Terry Thurling

Terry Thurling from Portsmouth has been living with the brain condition for a number of years and through Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side service got support and friendship from Clive Good from Farlington.

Clive’s wife had Alzheimer’s disease and was supported by the service.

The 64-year-old said: ‘The two hours a week I got from the “sitting service” was worth its weight in gold to me. Once I couldn't support her at home any longer, I wanted to see if I could provide another family with that short weekly period of respite.’

The pair have now been pals for five years and do a variety of activities together, including Wet Wheels on the Solent, painting pottery and also going along to Alzheimer’s Society’s Saturday Club.

Clive said: ‘We have become more than just a befriender and befriendee, we are good mates. We have a lot in common, we are the same age  and we share the same dry sense of humour.

‘It is great to allow him to talk about whatever he wants and get things off his chest.’

Terry previously worked in the Smith’s Crisps factory in Paulsgrove and was a member of the sea cadets.

The 65-year-old said: ‘It’s luck, we’re nearly the same age. He was a hippy and I was a skinhead. 

When Clive talks about things I know what he is talking about, we go back eras.That’s why we’ve lasted so long, we’re never stuck for words.’

The pair will be taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Portsmouth Memory Walk this Saturday to raise money for the charity.

Side by Side co-ordinator for Hampshire Jane Essery said: ‘Loneliness is a real problem for people with dementia, yet we know that one of the most important things for those affected is to remain part of their community and continue to do the things they love. Our Side by Side service offering one-to-one support is a vital step to making this a reality.

‘Every penny raised through Memory Walk will help support people affected by dementia.’

To sign up for the walk, starting near Southsea Castle, visit memorywalk.org.uk