New dementia support group in Holt

PUBLISHED: 13:30 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:31 02 April 2014

Views of Holt. High Street and war memorial.

Views of Holt. High Street and war memorial. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

Dementia sufferers and their carers will be able to get help and respite at a new café-style support group.

The Holt and District Dementia Support Group will be launching the Poppy Centre on Tuesday April 8 at St Andrew’s Parish Church Meeting Room, Holt, between 10.30am-12.30am.

Weekly sessions will include advice from a range of professionals about how to live with the disease as well as music, singing and games.

It was the idea of St Andrew’s Parish Church, Age UK North Norfolk and Holt Medical Practice after the church pastoral team recognised a need for a dementia support group for the town and surrounding villages.

Group chairman Wendy Richley, lead co-ordinator of the pastoral team, said: “We are trying to raise the profile of Holt and what services are available for people living with dementia. We are trying to encourage people to be more knowledgeable about it. North Norfolk has one of the highest percentage of older people in the country.

“As dementia progresses people feel very isolated. A person with dementia feels less confident about meeting people. If we are able to support carers as well that would be good.

“We feel very excited and think it will be a service that will grow. The word seems to be spreading. The group is about providing as much information as we can, particularly from specialists.”

Volunteers will run the group and the management committee is made up of people who have experience in nursing and supporting dementia sufferers as well as older people.

Specialists will talk about different aspects of the illness each week and as well as offering a place for a cup of tea or coffee, the group will offer activities including reminiscence sessions.

Anyone of any age can attend the free sessions and people who are worried about memory loss can also join in.

Mrs Richley, a former director of nursing, added: “We are trying to make communities more dementia friendly. There are a lot of misplaced understandings of people who have dementia. They are stigmatised and we are trying to stop that.”

The group is self-funding and so far has raised £2,600 since November last year. Bakers and Larners of Holt donated £2,300.

Sessions will be held every Tuesday in St Andrew’s Church Meeting Room between 10.30am-12.30am and will start on April 29.

For more information call Mrs Richley on 01263 715950, Ann Hill on 01263 710766 or Susan Wharfe on 01263 712131.

Do you know of a new health support group in north Norfolk? Email

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