Support groups from across Norfolk link up to fight for ‘much-needed’ dementia nurses

Dianne Fernee, left and admiral nurse Cathie Jones with knitted forget-me-not "cakes" donated as par

Dianne Fernee, left and admiral nurse Cathie Jones with knitted forget-me-not "cakes" donated as part of a charity appeal. Picture: DIANNE FERNEE - Credit: Archant

Dementia support groups have launched a desperate effort try to save the county's Admiral nurse service.

Dianne Fernee, organiser of the Wymondham Dementia Support Group, with some of the knitted and croch

Dianne Fernee, organiser of the Wymondham Dementia Support Group, with some of the knitted and crochet forget me knots she is collecting, one for each person living with dementia in Norfolk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Groups from Wymondham, Thetford, Holt and Stoke Holy Cross are joining forces with Dementia UK to form a working group, which will try to find a way of funding an Admiral nurse.

At the end of September, South Norfolk CCG decided it was no longer viable to fund the nurses, who are specially trained in dementia care and offer vital support to families coping with the illness.

Dianne Fernee, who runs Wymondham's Pabulum Café dementia support group, said: 'We need to find some way of continuing this much-needed service because without it, you are taking away a lifeline.

'Many of my carers rely on the help of an Admiral nurse and when they ask me what happens next, what do I say?


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'The stories we hear are heart-breaking and more must be done.'

Meanwhile, a campaign run by Mrs Fernee to collect knitted and crocheted forget-me-nots has reached a milestone.

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She said 17,000 of the pieces had been made by people from across Norfolk and donated to the campaign - one for every person in the county living with dementia.

Mrs Fernee said everyone who had contributed was invited to a 'thank-you' coffee morning to take place on January 18 at 10am at Wymondham's Fairland Church.

In another development, the Pabulum Café has inspired another dementia support group – in Australia.

Mrs Fernee said a chance visit by Australian community nurse, Kirsty Porter, to the café had inspired her to start her own group in Blackburn, a suburb of Melbourne.

Mrs Fernee said: 'Kirsty was inspired by what she experienced and vowed to take the ideas she picked up on how the Pabulum Café was founded eight years ago and now meets twice weekly offering a range of activities back to Australia and establish a similar service in her locality.

'A few days ago Kirsty rang Trevor Brown, one of Pabulum's volunteers, and told him that she had just opened the first dementia café in her district with 25 members present and that it had been a great success with subsequent press and radio coverage producing many enquiries and offers of help.'

For more information about the upcoming coffee morning or the Pabulum Café, email ferneed252@gmail.com

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