March 8 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
A new programme of social events is being launched to help people affected by dementia find support and enjoyment in a safe and understanding environment.
Vicky Hutchinson, a link worker and dementia advisor with Age UK Suffolk, is expanding the popular Forget Me Not sessions she has been running in Aldeburgh with a new monthly meeting in Framlingham.
She said: “In Aldeburgh it has been a real success so we thought, why not take it to Framlingham.”
“We had an engagement meeting in the town before Christmas and everyone seemed really excited about having somewhere to meet and socialise in a safe and understanding environment.”
People living with dementia and their carers are invited to the first session, taking place at Framlingham District Conservative Club in Church Street between 11am and 3pm on Thursday.
Visitors will be offered refreshments upon arrival, followed by a lunch of soup and a roll, finishing with an hour of entertainment from a troupe of Scottish dancers.
“I always like to feature some entertainers so that the day is more focused on having a good time to help people can forget about dementia for the day and enjoy themselves,” Ms Hutchinson said.
“So long as everyone goes home with a smile on their face the event will have done its job.”
Although the event is geared towards enjoyment, Ms Hutchinson said there will also be support offered by the Age UK volunteers and opportunities for the attending carers to share knowledge and advice.
“Carers are often very isolated and so hearing other people’s experiences can be very helpful,” she said.
Local businesses including the Common Room restaurant, Kitty’s Cafe and Hambling Catering have supported the event with offers of reduced rates.
Christopher Hudson, a Suffolk Coastal councillor for Framlingham, is hoping to donate some of the £4,000 Community Enabling Budget he has available to assist new projects in the town.
“I am delighted to support Age UK in this fantastic new venture,” he said.
“I’m still awaiting full clearance from Suffolk Coastal to make the contribution but the funds are available and I believe this initiative ticks every box.
“Helping people with very serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia is a very worthwhile cause and one I wish every success.”
Ms Hutchinson said there had already been a healthy interest in the first session with around 20 people expected to attend.
And having received positive feedback from the suggestion when it was first raised at one of Age UK’s “Expect the Unexpected” meetings held in Framlingham in December, she believes the meetings will only grow in popularity.
Sessions cost £4 and visitors are asked to confirm their attendance by contacting Ms Hutchinson on 01473 353055.