Thursday 14th June 2018
In the UK, someone develops dementia every three minutes, and there is currently no cure. Thursday 14th June was the Alzheimer's Society's Third Annual Cupcake Day. Cupcakes were sold and eaten across the country to raise funds to support their work and research into finding a cure for dementia.
We held a special event to extend people’s knowledge about dementia and as a fundraiser for this great charity. The mention of cake may well have been an extra incentive for people to attend this sold out event!
Our first speaker was Tara Edwards, Services Manager North Cumbria at Alzheimer’s Society. Tara was able to tell us about the importance of the work the team undertake in Cumbria and the national work Alzheimer’s do to support research on how to slow down dementia and their work ensure this tackling this disease remains high on the government’s healthy living agenda.
Tara spoke about the dementia support services provided to people with dementia and their carers; how they offer information and guidance covering all aspects of living with dementia. There were some amazing examples of support groups such as “Singing for the Brain” groups across the county; dementia cafes, carer’s information programmes and Live Well with Dementia programmes. There is a lot of awareness raising through the Dementia Friends Programme and a growing number of Dementia Action Alliance Groups throughout Cumbria
Next to speak was John Clasper - Chief Executive of Eden Housing Association and Gill Walton, - Supported Housing Manager at Eden HA. They spoke about Extra Care Housing Schemes and in particular Heysham Gardens in Carlisle. They have great pride in the scheme of 40 x 2 bedroom flats designed for older people and keeping in mind the needs of people living with dementia.
A lot of work went into the planning and the team worked closely with the local community, local service providers and University to get the design right. Examples include: colouring each floor a different colour to help people remember where they live. A ledge outside their window so they can put keepsakes there to remind them which their home is.
The contemporary, welcoming architecture, contributed to ongoing neighbourhood regeneration, provided an opportunity to enhance the local area and brought positive community and sustainability benefits. There are guest facilities so if somebody is ill and wants relatives to stay, they can. Other facilities include a garden, a community centre, hobby room, café, hairdressing salon, library and assisted bathing facility. They have a number of social activities like coffee mornings, art therapy, music, exercise classes, computer classes organised by tenants and residents association.
The event was rounded off by a fun, informative and interactive Dementia Friends Information Session run by Beth Nicholls, who has trained as volunteer Dementia Friend Champion in order to raise awareness about dementia in her community. Dementia Friends is led by the Alzheimer’s Society, as a strand of its work, to create “Dementia Friendly Communities”, which are communities that are understanding and inclusive of people affected by dementia.
We were delighted by the donation of cakes by Sainsbury’s in Penrith in support of the event. We also held a raffle for those attending – first prize was a basket of Bells of Lazonby goodies which they had kindly donated (won by Emma Davidson, WISH Board Member) and 5lb Cumberland Sausage voucher from Cranston’s Butchers was won by Jimmy Campbell, Eden District Council.
The event not only raised awareness about aspects of dementia it also raised £60 for the Alzheimer’s Society and created 14 new Dementia Friends. We would like to thank everyone who came along to the event; it was great to see many new faces.
Held at Frenchfields Sports Centre, Penrith, CA11 8UU
Venue kindly provided by Eden District Council