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23rd Jun, 2021

Town dementia meeting centre given green light

Rob George 22nd May, 2021

A NEW meeting for those living with dementia will be set up in Evesham, thanks to a county-wide funding programme.

In January 2020, Worcestershire County Council and the six district councils of Worcestershire announced they would be investing £540,000 from the County’s Business Rates Retention Pilot to help local communities across the county to set up specialist dementia Meeting Centres across, putting the county at the forefront of this new way of supporting those living with the condition and their families.

Although the coronavirus pandemic put the launch of the Worcestershire Meeting Centres Community Support Programme on hold, three applications for funding were approved at a meeting of the joint University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council Assessment Panel in January 2021 and funding for another new Centre to be set up in Evesham was approved at its meeting on 30 April 2021. All four successful applications have each been awarded funding of up to £60,000 to set up new Meeting Centres in Evesham, Worcester, Malvern Hills/Tenbury and Malvern Link.

University of Worcester Fellow, Dorothy Wilson MBE, the independent chair of the Panel, said: “The Panel was delighted to be able to approve funding for another Centre and we are now looking forward to assessing the next batch of applications at our Panel meeting on 30 July 2021 for applications received by 30 June 2021.”

Sally Dance, the Manager of the Evesham & District Mental Health Support Services (EDMHSS) charity, which submitted the application for this new Centre, said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding to help set up this Centre in this area of the County which my organisation covers and we are looking forward to opening as soon as the current situation allows.”

Meeting Centres were originally developed in the Netherlands and were brought to the UK by the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies. A Meeting Centre is a local resource, operating out of ordinary community buildings, that offers on-going warm and friendly expert support to people with mild to moderate dementia and their families. At the heart of the Meeting Centre is a social club where people meet to have fun, talk to others and get help that focusses on what they need. Meeting Centres are based on sound research evidence on what helps people to cope well in adjusting to living with the symptoms and changes that dementia brings.

Hannah Perrott, Assistant Director for Communities at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We are delighted to see support being offered to help people living with dementia and their families in another part of the county and I look forward to seeing more successful applications over the coming months.”

Further applications can be submitted at any time up to 30 September 2021.  The application form, together with a number of supporting documents can be accessed via the University of Worcester website at www.worc.ac.uk/wmccsp

If you have any questions about the Programme and the application process please e-mail meetingcentres@worc.ac.uk

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