General, Keeping families healthy, Supporting our vulnerable adults

£50,000 fund for communities to help people with dementia

Older couple

As Dementia Awareness Week launched, a £50,000 fund was unveiled for communities in Surrey to make life better for thousands of people with the condition.

The pot of cash will allow groups to put in bids for projects that help people with dementia remain active and independent in their local areas.

It has been created by Surrey County Council and three of the county’s newly-formed clinical commissioning groups* – Farnham and North East Hampshire, North West Surrey and Guildford and Waverley.

Michael Gosling

The initiative is part of a push to ensure Surrey is dementia friendly that has already seen plans for a chain of advice centres unveiled to arm people with information to spot the early signs of the condition.

Dementia advisers have also been mobilised to go into people’s homes to give support and care homes have been retro-decorated with familiar items from the past to trigger memories.

Around 15,000 people in Surrey aged over 65 have dementia, which equates to around one in 13 older people.

Michael Gosling, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Supporting vulnerable people is at the heart of what we do and this fund gives local groups the chance to help people with dementia stay in their communities in familiar surroundings.

“It may be a local group laying on activities, a school providing a meeting place or a shop offering help with buying essentials. Whatever the idea, they will all have the chance to make their local areas even better places for people with dementia to live.”

Bids for up to £5,000 can be made. Application forms can be obtained by emailing dementia.friendly@surreycc.gov.uk, calling 01483 519006 or writing to Liz Tracey, Dementia Innovation Fund, Dementia Friendly Surrey, Surrey County Council, Quadrant Court, 35 London Road, Woking GU22 7QQ. They will also be available on the Surrey Information Point website this week.

More information about the awareness week can be found on the Alzheimer’s Society’s website.

* Which now have responsibility for buying health services.

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