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Dementia Action Week 2019 – become a dementia friends

As part of Dementia Action Week 2019 – a national event to raise awareness about this disease, Dementia Support will be holding dementia friends sessions at Sage House.

What is a dementia friend?

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

Become a dementia friend, or make your business or organisation dementia friendly. A session lasts up to an hour and will give you valuable insight into what it is like to live with dementia.

Our sessions in Dementia Action Week are taking place on:

  • Monday 20th May, 10am – 11am
  • Tuesday 21st May, 2pm – 3pm
  • Wednesday 22nd May, 2pm – 3pm
  • Friday 24th May, 11am – 12noon

Register by calling us on: 01243 888 691 or email: info@dementia-support.org.uk Please note these sessions are free of charge.

You can find more details about the initiative on the dementia friends website: www.dementiafriends.org.uk

Lets talk about dementia – meet our Wayfinders

During our Wayfinding Week – 13th – 17th May, we will be visiting various local West Sussex towns to offer support to the local community. 

Come along and chat to the dementia Wayfinding Team for information, advice and emotional support. Look out for them on their Pink Sofa.

Dementia Support has unique Wayfinders – individuals who provide emotional support and practical advice to enable people to navigate the dementia world. 

“It is an honour and a privilege to support people living with dementia.  No-one should struggle alone with this disease, as a Wayfinder I will always be there for people living with dementia and their families and friends. Caring for a loved one with dementia can be tough, both in a practical sense and emotionally.  I am very proud to be a Wayfinder and look forward to meeting people on our pink sofa.   Come over and say hello.” Jacquie Pond, one of the Wayfinders at Dementia Support.

Whether you are living with dementia or a family member has dementia, stop by the pink sofa and have your questions answered. You can find the sofa and the Wayfinders in the following locations.

•           Monday 13th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Bognor High Street nr Santander Bank

•           Monday 13th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Rose Green, outside Co-op Funeral Care/ Rose Green Post Office

•           Tuesday 14th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Pagham, The Parade (outside Co-op Funeral Care)

•           Tuesday 14th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Chichester, outside Chichester District Council Car Park, Friary Lane

•           Wednesday 15th 9.30am – 12.30pm – Petworth, outside The Star & Leconfield Hall

•           Wednesday 15th 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Fittleworth Community Shop, School Lane

•           Thursday 16th – 9.30am – 12.30pm – Arundel, The Arundel Surgery, Green Lane Close

•           Thursday 16th – 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Barnham, outside Co-op Funeral care, Barnham Road

•           Friday 17th – 9.30am – 12.30pm – Selsey, outside Selsey Co-op (next to doctors surgery)

•           Friday 17th – 1.30pm – 4.30pm – Witterings – Witterings Medical Centre, Cakeham Road, East Wittering.

Our Wayfinder Appeal

Every 3 minutes somebody will develop dementia; that could be someone in your family.  The charity wants to reach everyone affected by dementia in our West Sussex area.

Currently the Wayfinding team can only reach 10% of people in our area, so Dementia Support has launched a new £1 million Appeal to help fund more vital Wayfinders and dementia services at Sage House and out in the community. This will reduce loneliness, give the best quality care, provide hope and support for the whole family affected by dementia.

To donate to the Wayfinder Appeal today:

visit www.dementia-support.org.uk/appeal or £10 text WAY to 70085 (this will cost £10 plus your standard text message rate).

Award winning Singing for the Soul

A new community event is bringing together the residents of Tangmere and people living with dementia.  Singing for the Soul is a social singing group for the over 50s and people living with dementia. The group has been organised by Dementia Support volunteer and Tangmere resident – Sue Saunders, who was inspired by a community singing group in Southbourne.

After seeing how the Southbourne singing group was run and their success, I wanted to emulate something similar in my local village of Tangmere.   Everyone who comes gets fully involved and regularly attends each week; it provides company for people who were previously isolated.”

Sue and her fellow volunteers were delighted to win the Observer Community Award for Best Community Event. It was a pleasant surprise as the group is relatively new (started September 2017), but it demonstrates how valuable and well regarded it is in the local community.

The purpose of Singing for the Soul is to provide opportunities to sing and socialise for people over 50 years old, without being a formal choir.

Research into community singing groups (Canterbury Christ Church University, 2012) showed noticeable wellbeing and mental health benefits for those attending.

One attendee spoke of her experience: “I thoroughly enjoyed it; it is a very uplifting, ‘leave a smile on your face’ event.”

Another attendee said: “Gets me out to meet others who enjoy singing in a group; I really enjoy it.”

The group is also dementia friendly which fits with the work of charity – Dementia Support, which is based in Tangmere.   People with dementia have a special ability to remember songs, and music becomes a route to communication and engagement. Singing can help lift well-being during and after the session.

They meet every Monday afternoon, 2-4pm in the Tangmere Village Centre. It costs £2.50 per person to attend, with refreshments and homemade cake included.

Volunteers thanked by High Sheriff

Volunteers for local charity Dementia Support were thanked for their hard work during 2017 at a celebration attended by the West Sussex High Sheriff, Lady Emma Barnard.

The volunteers give their skills and time and support the charity’s team to provide dementia wellbeing activities at the Dementia Support Hub in Tangmere. The sessions include: singing, art, socialising, gentle exercising and befriending – all of which provide a therapeutic benefit for people living with dementia, and their families and carers.

Volunteers range from people helping with teas and coffees, co-ordinating the singing group to teaching people how to paint with watercolours. Dementia Support also works with local businesses and organisations to offer volunteering opportunities, such as providing a work placement for Fine Art students at the University of Chichester.

The West Sussex High Sheriff, Lady Emma Barnard, attended the Volunteer Thank You event with her PA and local magistrate Julia Mansergh. They were both very impressed by the vision of the charity, the dementia services that will be provided by the Hub and the dedication of the volunteers.

Lady Emma personally thanked the volunteers for their tireless work for the charity, and for providing much needed support for people living with dementia:

“What an amazing place, and what a wonderful group of people you are! It is very exciting to witness the start of this great enterprise, which will make an enormous difference to so many in West Sussex.”

Together with the volunteers’ help, Dementia Support are already reducing the isolation and loneliness felt by people living with dementia; the charity is also improving access to information and advice and increasing opportunities to improve wellbeing.

Langmead family joins campaign for better dementia services

IEP Financial Supports Dementia Charity

Chichester Festival Theatre working together with Dementia Support to improve wellbeing of people living with dementia