Thetford dementia support group in search of new home

Thetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham Court

Thetford and District Dementia Group meet at Lord Walsingham Court - Credit: Archant

A valuable support group which helps families in Thetford living with dementia is appealing to businesses for help as it desperately searches for a new home.

The Thetford and District Dementia Support Group (TADDS) has experienced a boom in visitor numbers and needs a new space to accommodate its growing ranks at its weekly meetings.

Since starting up just over a year ago, the group has ballooned in size and now regularly hosts 40 people at its meetings – in a space designed for 25.

However, the non-profit organisation can not afford to pay for commercial premises – and doesn't want to bridge the funding gap by charging those who use it.

Jo Mountjoy-Dixon, TADDS co-founder, said: 'This move is not really a choice. We are a victim of our own success.

'It would be nice if local businesses could see we are struggling and see if they have a space or a venue that could accommodate 40 people plus.

'We're looking for somewhere new to call home. We don't want to turn people away because that's not the idea.'

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Mrs Mountjoy-Dixon said the new space would need space for the group to store its equipment and would need a kitchen, for it to continue holding its popular lunches.

She added that TADDS's current sponsor had 'given no indication' that it would stop sponsorship of a new premises, but the group was preparing for the possibility of losing this funding.

'Not many places in Thetford are conducive to community groups because we cannot afford to pay,' she said.

'We focus our attention on the people who need it and their carers, not doing a charity fund-raiser every time we hold a session.

'We've never charged people and I wouldn't want to start charging, because immediately you cut people out.'

The group was awarded £500 in January's Community Chest offer, run by the Eastern Daily Press, but Mrs Mountjoy-Dixon said this money has already been earmarked to start a TADDS singing group and for more volunteer training.