Community to help with dementia

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

A village is taking its first steps to supporting people suffering from dementia.

Work is underway for Newbiggin by the Sea to become one of the UK’s Dementia Friendly Communities.

More than 50 individuals and business representatives attended launch events at St Bartholomew’s Church Centre to find out more about a new dementia alliance.

Two sessions helped attendees find out what a Dementia Friendly Community is and what Newbiggin needs to do to be recognised by the Alzheimer’s Society as Dementia Friendly.

The Newbiggin Dementia Alliance is being led by local county councillor Liz Simpson and the Rev Peter Sinclair from St Bartholomew’s.

Coun Simpson said: “Newbiggin has an ageing population and it is very important that the community is able to support its older generations.

“This training and awareness is very important and will allow residents and businesses to be able to recognise the signs that people are suffering from dementia, and know how to help and support them.

“We are also keen to involve more young people, and have been talking to the youth team and the local schools to find out the best ways to work with them to raise awareness.

“I would like to see more communities around Northumberland joining Newbiggin in a bid to become dementia friendly.”

Rev Sinclair added: “We were delighted with the response.

“We are planning to run further sessions and hope that even more people will take part, and help Newbiggin to be a community that respects and involves people who suffer from dementia, and can also provide better support to those who care for them.”

Dementia Friendly Communities is an initiative promoted by the Alzheimer’s Society.

Amy Syron-Mallenby, the society’s business development officer for Northumberland, said: “It is great to see towns like Newbiggin grasping the opportunity to become Dementia Friendly.

“There are over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, with around two thirds who are living at home, and greater awareness helps them to live safely and well within their local communities.”