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Dementia project seeking more friends in town area

Morpeth Mayor Jack Gebhard took part in a sing-a-long at the Town Hall as part of Home Instead's Songs to Remember campaign.
Morpeth Mayor Jack Gebhard took part in a sing-a-long at the Town Hall as part of Home Instead's Songs to Remember campaign.

Morpeth residents are being invited to support an initiative that has been raising awareness of how the town can be a dementia-friendly community in recent weeks.

Guy Kirk, owner of Home Instead Senior Care South East Northumberland, Café des Amis owner Wendy Smith and Tony Woods of the Justice and Peace Church group in Morpeth started the project with the support of the Alzheimer’s Society.

It is estimated that there are at least 282 people living with dementia in the three wards that make up Morpeth town.

Mr Kirk attended the Ageing Well Stepping into Spring event at Morpeth Town Hall and he spoke with a number of people about the initiative.

Speaking to the Herald about its progress and how residents can help, he said: “People with dementia can live well with the condition, but may lack confidence to keep doing the things they enjoy as their condition progresses. This can be for a variety of reasons.

“However, with greater understanding and support, they can continue to feel a part of our community and do the things they enjoy – such as going to a café or shopping, to church or along to a leisure centre.

“Since we started the project, we have been joined by other enthusiastic people and organisations including Newcastle Building Society, volunteers and Morpeth Chamber of Trade.

“We are thrilled that Morpeth Mayor Jack Gebhard has given his wholehearted support. He also took part in a sing-a-long at the Town Hall event as part of Home Instead’s Songs to Remember campaign, which highlights the benefits and enjoyment of singing for people living with dementia.

“It is easy to become a Dementia Friend – just come along to one of our free information sessions. They give people a better understanding of dementia and some of the challenges it can bring.

“We also do a bit of ‘myth busting’ in the sessions, so why not come along and find out more.”

Sessions have recently taken place at St George’s URC and Café des Amis.

Home Instead Senior Care supports people to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.

To find out when the next sessions are taking place, email Mr Kirk at info.blyth@homeinstead.co.uk