East Peckham Dementia Friends launch project to provide support

East Peckham Dementia Friends launch project to provide support

The scheme has been supported by the Parish Council, which is marking its 125th anniversary by supporting the introduction of a Dementia Friendly Community [DFC] in East Peckham.

The DFC was set up by Sandra Edmonds, Kent County Council’s Community Warden, who is also leading the village steering group to develop the Dementia Friends.

Sandra said: “This initiative is so important in raising awareness and hopefully helping to remove the stigma that is often linked to dementia.

“In East Peckham we want everyone to be a valued, supported and respected member of the village, with knowledge that helps to support people to live well with dementia in their own homes for as long as is possible.”

She added: “The information kiosk was the idea of one of the young people in the village who had personal experience of living with someone with dementia.

“Johnny Harman wanted a central point in the village where people could go at any time, night and day, to find out clear information about the help, services and support that was available.

“Hopefully this information kiosk will support residents, especially if they are in crisis with a loved one with dementia, to be able to identify pathways for help.

“It can be used by family, carers, friends, or worried neighbours who need to ask advice about someone they are concerned about.”

And she explained how they had used a convenient resource: “The Parish Council was able to support this amazing idea by securing the decommissioned BT phone box and turning it into the hub.”

The Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling, Jill Anderson (pictured), attended the launch of the project along with Johnny, and residents were invited to join the carers at the village’s regular Carers Café.

This gathering is held on the second and fourth Friday of each month from 1.30pm in the Curran Hall, and is open to carers and those who they look after.

The Community Safety Unit of the borough council gave out shed alarms and other home safety information, and the Virtual Dementia Tour bus gave local people an insight into what it’s like to live with dementia.

Chris Parker, Chair of Tonbridge’s award-winning DFC, said: “As a protégé they don’t come any better than Sandra. I am so thrilled at everything she has achieved.

“When I suggested she become a ‘dementia champion’, she astounded me by completing the training and delivering her first session inside a month.

“East Peckham is lucky to have her.”

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