A series of events have been planned to raise awareness about dementia as Tamworth joins national Dementia Action Week.
A packed week of events including coffee mornings, a community fundraising day, dementia awareness sessions, ‘Singing for Fun’ and ‘CommuKnitty’ in the Castle Grounds, will take place in the town between Monday, May 20 and Sunday, May 26.
It is the third year that Tamworth has taken part in the national event since being granted Dementia Friendly Community status last year to help improve the lives of local people living with dementia.
Activities are being organised and co-ordinated by the Tamworth Dementia Friendly Communities Partnership - a partnership of stakeholders working together to raise awareness and improve services locally. Tamworth Dementia Friendly Communities Partnership now boasts 27 member organisations including Tamworth Borough Council, the police, fire service, health care services and providers, community groups and businesses.
The various events aim to either support people living with dementia, to help others understand what it is like for those living with the condition, or to raise money for vital equipment and services.
The week kicks off with ‘Music through the Decades’ event at Sacred Heart Memory Café. Two sessions will be held on Tuesday 21 at 10.30am, featuring music from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Staff and volunteers will be dressing for the occasion and invite everyone to join in.
Ankerside Shopping Centre will be hosting a ‘Singing for Fun’ session on Thursday, 23 May, between 10.30am and 11.30am.
Other events throughout the week include a fundraising day at Tamworth Community Together CIC hub in the Castle Grounds, between 10am and 3pm on Friday, May 24. This includes free tea and cake for anyone living with dementia and their carers. There will also be a raffle and a chance to join the ‘CommuKnitty’ project, which will continue on the Saturday to help knit forget-me-nots. All money raised at the fundraising day will be donated to the Meadowyrthe Care Home to support patients with dementia.
Dementia awareness services will be held at the weekend at the following churches:
- St John the Baptist from 6pm on Saturday, May 25 and from 10.30am on Sunday, May 26
- Sacred Heart Church from 9am and 12pm on Sunday, May 26
- Wigginton Church at 10.30am on Sunday, May 26
Awareness stands will also be on display during the week at John Lewis, Tamworth Library and Tamworth Market.
Full details of all events can be downloaded via the Dementia Friendly page of Tamworth Borough Council’s website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/dementia-friendly.
Later in June, people with dementia and their carers will again be invited to help members of Tamworth Borough Council’s Street Scene team plant out a special flower bed in the Castle Grounds’ sensory garden with the colours of the Alzheimer’s Society, as part of this year’s Tamworth in Bloom campaign.
As an official Dementia Friendly Community, a lot of work has taken place in Tamworth to create a community in which people living with dementia and their carers feel understood and supported, with access to the services they need.
This includes building an army of Dementia Friends - people who have undergone a short awareness session, to give them a basic understanding of dementia and some of the issues it can create for people living with it. According to latest figures, Tamworth has over 4,000 Dementia Friends, 17 Dementia Friends Champions and more than 149 information sessions have been run.
Work is co-ordinated through the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance, a growing partnership of businesses, groups and organisations, working together to raise awareness and improve services.
Chairman of the alliance, John Edwards, said: “Every time a person becomes aware of the difficulties faced by those living with dementia and their carers, life becomes easier for those affected. Tamworth can be rightly proud of the progress that has been made and the determination to do more in the future.”
Mark Burbridge, manager at Ankerside Shopping Centre, added: “It’s a pleasure to be involved in the town’s Dementia Action Week this year. Volunteers will be returning to the centre to raise awareness of dementia to Tamworth shoppers on Thursday, 23 May.
“Plus, as it’s proven that familiar songs and re-visiting old experiences encourage those living with dementia, volunteers will be hosting a session of ‘Singing for the Fun’ between 10.30am and 11.30am. This is going to be really fantastic for our shoppers to enjoy and will raise even further awareness of the illness.”
Becoming a Dementia Friend can be done online or in person and takes less than an hour. Visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk or contact Tamworth Borough Council’s Lead Officer for Dementia Friendly Communities, Karen Clancy, on 01827 709565.