Forget-me-nots inspire Tonbridge dementia awareness

FLOWER POWER: Chris Parker with West Kent’s collaborative ‘yarn bomb’ forget-me-not carpet

Forget-me-nots inspire Tonbridge dementia awareness

by Andy Tong | 3rd May 2019

TONBRIDGE'S award-winning Dementia Friendly Community [DFC] will be holding a week of events to raise awareness about the condition.

The programme starts on May Bank Holiday Monday [May 6] with a Memory Mile walk at Haysden Country Park at 10am.

The one-mile tour around the lake is an ideal distance for supporters young and old – including those who live with dementia.

There will be medals for children and ‘I’m walking for...’ cards to fix on participants’ clothing.

Chris Parker is founder and Chair of Tonbridge DFC, which was named as Most Inspirational Dementia Friendly Community in Kent last year.

She said: “It’s our first Memory Walk. We decided against a run or any longer distance so that those living with dementia could also take part.

'People living with dementia can get out and still enjoy some of the beautiful places we have in Tonbridge'

“It’s all about awareness of two things: that people living with dementia can get out and still enjoy some of the beautiful places we have in Tonbridge; and also that a healthy lifestyle helps in preventing dementia. If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your head.”

The week continues with an information stand at Hildenborough Farmers Market on Tuesday, followed by a virtual dementia tour at the Forget-Me-Not Café at St John’s church hall in the village on Wednesday.

The free Forget-Me-Not Cafés provide companionship and a variety of activities to those who are living with dementia.

They also offer support, information and respite for carers, family and friends.

The five cafés in West Kent hold 90-minute or two-hour sessions once a month, with alternative venues opening on different weeks.

The Tonbridge Dementia Café will also be open at the Angel Centre on Thursday [May 9].

Held in the Jubilee Rooms, the venue is run by the Alzheimer’s Society and is open on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

'I had the idea after the success of the Poppy Appeal with knitted poppies. Then my colleagues in Tunbridge Wells also wanted to "yarn-bomb"'

Throughout the week Tonbridge DFC will be displaying the carpet of knitted forget-me-nots made by Tonbridge residents.

Mrs Parker said: “I had the idea after the success of the Poppy Appeal with knitted poppies.

“Then my colleagues in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells also wanted to ‘yarn-bomb’ so it became a joint West Kent Dementia action, with Sevenoaks pitching in too.”

Among others who submitted the woollen flowers are Nancy’s Café at Lambert’s Yard, Hildenborough Farmers Market and Inspirations Hair Salon on the High Street.

For more information visit tonbridgedfc.org.uk

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