Mayor backs scheme to make Hebburn ‘dementia friendly’

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson with service user John Havelock and his daughter Michelle Butler
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson with service user John Havelock and his daughter Michelle Butler

A group supporting people with dementia in South Tyneside welcomed a special guest to their drop in session as they marked Dementia Action Week.

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Ken Stephenson, visited St Aloysius Church, Hebburn where he met people with dementia, their families and carers and learned more about the work going to make the borough more dementia friendly.

Drop in sessions offer information and advice about the support available as well as enable visitors the chance to enjoy activities such as seated exercises and community singing.

The drop-ins followed last year’s launch of Dementia Friendly Hebburn, which saw people pledging to help improve the lives of those living with the condition.

The Mayor said: “Dementia is a debilitating condition. With one person in the UK developing dementia every three minutes, it is vital that people living with the condition, their families and carers get the support they need.

“It is important they know they are not alone, they know where to turn and feel included and involved in their communities.”

Michelle Butler, who visits the sessions with her dad John Havelock, said: “It’s a very friendly group and all the staff there are great.

“We’ve been coming along to the drop-ins since January and my dad loves them, particularly the singing part. It’s something nice for him to do and interact and I get to talk to other people in the caring role which provides some light relief for me.”

The Living Well with Dementia drop in takes place on the third Monday of each month, from 2pm to 3.30pm, at St Aloysius Church Hall in Prince Consort Road, Hebburn.

Caption: The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson pictured with service user John Havelock and his daughter Michelle Butler at the Living Well with Dementia drop in.