Tuesday 1st Mar, 2016

Over £13,000 awarded to support dementia friendly services

The demand for dementia friendly services is set to grow as we face rising numbers of those living with dementia and a health service pushed to its limit.  The Norfolk Dementia Fund and Norfolk Community Foundation played a small part in helping to meet demand as over £13,000 was awarded to support these services in Norfolk at interactive ‘Dragon’s Den’ event.

50 dragon’s came together at an event organised by Norfolk & Suffolk Dementia Alliance and Norfolk Community Foundation last week. Business people and individuals with an interest in supporting dementia projects were allocated a share of a £10,000 funding pot from the Norfolk Dementia Fund to give towards each project.  

The Foundation, who manages the Fund on behalf of the Alliance were asked to identify projects that demonstrated innovative solutions to raising dementia awareness, address isolation and loneliness that can be felt by those living with dementia, offer improved access to community activities and provide respite and support for carers.

Willie Cruickshank, director at the Alliance stressed the importance of community groups and charities working with those living with dementia.  Due to medical advancements, life expectancy has doubled in the last century resulting in a growing ageing population in Norfolk where almost a quarter of people are aged over 65. With 1 in 3 people aged over 65 living with dementia, combined with a health service that is pushed to its limit, volunteers operating in the dementia arena are vital in holding together our social and care system.  Willie said “With two thirds of the 17,000 people living with dementia in Norfolk living in the community, the amazing charitable groups that are represented here tonight provide an essential support network for people with dementia and their carers”.

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Community Action Norwich were seeking funding to contribute to the costs of a dedicated member of staff to develop the activities they do with people coping with the early signs of dementia.  Aylsham Care Trust sought funding to allow the Dementia Manager and trained volunteers to make outreach visits. 

Trevor Brown, of Wymondham Dementia Support Group was seeking funding to expand the dementia friendly garden and increase their service offering: “We are extremely grateful to all at NCF and the donors who made the event possible.  It was a most enjoyable evening with an outcome that will enable us to fulfil our goal of opening every Monday from the 4th April as well as each Friday.”  When the group was first established in 2009, they provided support for four couples – the service is now accessed by over 70 couples.

Jan Godfrey MBE at The Wayland Partnership said “The funding will help us to expand and develop the Wayland Dementia Cafe providing new activities and experiences, and to offer support for the carers of those living with dementia.”

Mustard TVs, Chris Bailey led the interactive bidding session where members of the audience could not only allocate their share of £10,000 but could make further pledges to the projects that particularly struck a chord with them.  At the end of the evening, the groups left with £13,000 between them to support their projects.

If you would like to know more about how you can get involved with similar events, please contact Helen Tuttle, Marketing Executive on helentuttle@norfolkfoundation.com or 01603 623958