Dementia support group to hold coffee morning in Daventry village


A dementia community group in Daventry set up after the Alzheimer's Society funding was cut by the county council is holding a coffee morning as part of its fundraising drive.

Until March 31 this year, the Alzheimer's Society ran peer support groups, memory cafes and activity groups in 11 locations across Northamptonshire, which benefited those diagnosed with dementia as well as their carers.

The funding it received from Northamptonshire County Council ceased on March 31 and the carers and those living with dementia attending these events were all informed by letter that only the peer support groups would continue.

"When we learnt that we were going to be left with just the peer support group we felt that we had to do something," said Wendy Dugmore, a committee member of Daventry and District Dementia Cafe support group, which was formed with the help of Daventry District Council.

"For many of us, the peer support group on its own was useless; a safe sanctuary for the one living with dementia was needed, many of them could not be left on their own at home, so the carer would be unable to attend without the support that the activity group offered.

"Also the cafe was important, for many of us without any other form of respite it was really the only time during a month that they could relax whilst someone else shared the responsibility of caring for their loved one."

The memory cafe, on the fourth Thursday of the month, was where both carers and people with dementia would go and play games, reminisce, hold talks from groups who were able to offer help, and generally relax in a safe atmosphere.

The activity group was for those living with dementia while their carers went to the peer support group in the same building.

This was an opportunity for the carers to unload about their month, share information and experiences in a safe environment and in confidence.

The Alzheimer's Society is still staffing and funding the peer support group for the time being, and Daventry and District Dementia Cafe fund and run the other two groups.

To help with the costs and to grow support, the Demcafe are holding a coffee morning where there will be hot drinks, homemade cakes, a tabletop sale and pre-loved book and DVD stall.

It takes place at Braunston Memorial Village Hall on Saturday, November 11.

"The worse thing about any of the diseases under the umbrella term of dementia is the isolation it brings to the person with the diagnosis and those caring for them," said Wendy.

"If we can relieve that loneliness, even for a couple of hours a month, then we are a success."

The Daventry and District Dementia Cafe holds meetings on the second Tuesday of the month and the fourth Thursday of the month at the Abbey Centre in Daventry from 1pm until 3pm.