30 new Dementia Friends recruited in Peckham

Alzheimer's disease, Dementia,

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

30 new Dementia Friends recruited in Peckham

An awareness event designed to explain Dementia and Alzheimer’s to an audience of volunteer carers and others resulted in 30 people signing up to become Dementia Friends on Saturday 18 March. This means that in future each of the 30 will be supporting a sufferer or generally helping to educate others on the subject and deal with this distressing condition.

The event, which led to this impressive result, took place at the UCKG HelpCentre in Peckham, prompted by the fact that one of its members, Jessica White, lost her mother to the condition. The audience included members of the UCKG’s Patient Care and Caleb groups, people with an interest in Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and some with relatives who are affected by it.

The guest speaker was Judith Harrington from Southwark Dementia Action Alliance. She said: “I was delighted to deliver a Dementia Friends information session to UCKG members in Peckham. There was a great turnout with over 50 people attending. I gave the group some information about dementia and ways in which we could support people living with dementia, their families and carers.

“During these sessions I ask the audience to join in and the members at UCKG were brilliant – giving answers, asking questions and talking about their own experiences.”

At the end of the session Judy asked the attendees if they wanted to become Dementia Friends. That means committing to five key messages about dementia and agreeing to take an action (big or small) to support people living with dementia.

Judy continued: “The response from the UCKG members was just fantastic; everyone was so keen to become a Dementia Friend. I am confident that the members at UCKG will be great Dementia Friends, will help to make UCKG truly dementia friendly and will pass on the message.”

After Judy’s presentation Jessica White gave a very touching account of how dementia affected her family and how difficult it was to make the decision to place her mother in a home.

Attendees also learned that there are over 100 different forms of dementia, that dementia is a brain disease not part of ageing, and that people as young as 30 can be affected. The audience heard how confusing the world can be for dementia sufferers. For instance they might see a black floor mat in front of a shop as a black hole.

They also learned methods for helping people with dementia, such as establishing routines. Reassuringly they were told that even when sufferers forget who you are, the emotions they have attached to you don’t completely go.

A similar event was held in the UCKG HelpCentre in Finsbury Park.

ENDS

Notes to editors

UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales. The UCKG HelpCentre’s community outreach groups include Caleb for anyone over 55, seeking companionship, support or both, and Patient Care who support the sick at home and in hospitals.

Southwark Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) exists as a vehicle for organisations and individuals to work together to make Southwark a dementia friendly community, where people living with dementia have the support they need to live their life to the full and remain a valued part of our community.

DAA comprises a wide range of organisations large and small, and welcomes members from local business, faith based organisations, leisure, arts, housing and statutory and voluntary sector health and care agencies.

For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on press@uckg.org or direct line 020 7686 6033, or call the PR consultant on 07867 510909.

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