Dementia charity seeks more friends

Jenny Keech with the Alzheimer's Society team outside the charity's Morpeth office

Jenny Keech with the Alzheimer's Society team outside the charity's Morpeth office

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A dementia charity is hoping that the new year will be a time for making new friends.

The Northumberland branch of the Alzheimer’s Society is launching a befriending service, which will pair volunteers with people suffering from dementia in Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth and surrounding areas.

The helper could become a gardening buddy, running chum, bake mate, or simply pop around for a cuppa, visiting their friend at home, out and about, or in a group.

They will be trained and supported by Community Support Managers Jenny Keech, Jo Scott and Elizabeth Howliston, and should be able to commit two to three hours a week, or more.

Ms Keech said: “Nowadays everyone seems to know someone who is affected by dementia and our befriending volunteers will be well supported to make sure that they enjoy helping people with dementia enjoy life to the full.

“This service will ensure that we take a big step forward in the way people with dementia live well within our communities. It is a very positive and rewarding experience to offer companionship to tackle social isolation and loneliness.”

There are currently 4,500 Northumberland residents diagnosed with dementia. For information about becoming a volunteer call 01670 511159.