Alzheimer’s Society host community event as part of Dementia Awareness Week in South Tyneside

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Organisations across South Tyneside came together for the Dementia Awareness event, which was opened by Mayor of South Tyneside, Cllr Fay Cunningham.

For Dementia Awareness Week, Alzheimer’s Society hosted a South Tyneside Dementia Awareness event on Thursday, May 16 at Cleadon Park Library. 

The event was brought to South Tyneside by the Alzheimer's Society's Dementia Support Advisor for South Tyneside, Claire Charlton,  in collaboration with community partners, to bring awareness to the disease and how services like the Alzheimer’s Society can support those living with dementia, as well as their loved ones. 

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Claire said: “The event is all about bringing all of the services in South Tyneside together that have any input to do with a person’s journey with regards to their dementia, whether its post or pre diagnosis. 

“It’s about coming together in South Tyneside to show a united front, and show support for people no matter where they are on their journey.”

Joining the Alzheimer’s Society to show their support for the event included organisations and individuals such as; Admiral Nurses, Age Concern, Living Well With Dementia (Hebburn), The Memory Cafe at The Library (Boldon & Cleadon), Memory Protection Service, Churches Together Nurturing Dementia, and Northumbria Police.

Claire said of the aim of the event: “It’s to let the people of South Tyneside know that there is support out there, but also to raise the awareness that there are people who are maybe living with dementia, who aren’t diagnosed. Statistics show that 1 in 3 people are living with undiagnosed dementia.”

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“If people have questions, or are concerned about themselves or a loved one, this is an ideal opportunity to come along and speak to a number of professionals and services.”

The event was opened by the Mayor of South Tyneside, Cllr Fay Cunnigham, who delivered a speech on the importance of coming together for dementia awareness. 

She said: “I think this is an absolutely brilliant event because it is bringing together all of the services that South Tyneside can provide for people who are either awaiting diagnosis of dementia or have been diagnosed with dementia. 

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“I know how terrifying it can be as three of my dear friends have been recently diagnosed, and it’s devastating for friends and family who don’t always know what to do.

“I’ve been involved with dementia-friendly for many years, and at South Tyneside Council we are committed to being a dementia-friendly borough.

“I’m really happy to help the Alzheimer's Society today to get this off the ground.”

A volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society, Anne Mather, has lived experienced of caring for a loved-one with dementia, following her husband’s diagnosis.

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Alzheimer's Society hosted a Dementia Awareness event at Cleadon Park Library.Alzheimer's Society hosted a Dementia Awareness event at Cleadon Park Library.
Alzheimer's Society hosted a Dementia Awareness event at Cleadon Park Library.

Anne explained: “My husband has dementia, who sadly I lost six years ago and I had lots of good support from the Alzheimer’s Society.

Speaking of her choice to become a volunteer for the charity which supported herself and her husband, Anne said: “I wanted to give something back.”

She continued: “It’s very important to bring awareness of dementia and the challenges people can face, either living with dementia or caring for somebody with dementia.”

Tom Relph of South Tyneside Libraries, explained that they have launched ‘Reading Well for Dementia’, a national scheme which offers books which will give information on dementia. 

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Books include personal life stories, books which offer guidance, and children’s picture books.

Tom said: “These are all very good books that provide a lot of useful information. They are all available across the libraries in South Tyneside.”

In South Tyneside, the Alzheimer’s Society runs a number of services and groups to support those living with dementia, including one-on-one support for emotional and practical guidance, as well as community support.

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