New dementia support group up and running

David Johnson of Berwick Bulldogs Scooter Club hands over a �100 cheque to the recently-formed group.

David Johnson of Berwick Bulldogs Scooter Club hands over a �100 cheque to the recently-formed group.

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A new support group has been launched in the Berwick area for people who care for family or friends with dementia.

Formed by a small group of friends, Berwick & District Friends of Dementia has already been presented with its first fundraising cheque.

Announcing news of the group’s formation during what is Dementia Awareness Week, secretary Margaret Johnson explained: “This group was started by a small group friends who are all caring for people with dementia.

“We have already received offers of funding from various sources and last week after the Berwick Bulldogs Scooter Club rally the lads decided to give us a donation. One of the scooter club members happens to be our elder son.”

The scooter club presented a cheque for £100 to the new group, which has been set up after funding from the Berwick branch of Alzheimer’s Society began to run out.

“The Berwick Alzheimer’s Society ran a very successful weekly dementia cafe, however as the funding for this and our support workers has apparently dried up we decided to go it alone,” added Margaret.

Alzheimer’s Society staff in Berwick, meanwhile, have been holding various events for Dementia Awareness Week, which runs until May 24 and is also being championed by the Mayor of Berwick, Councillor Isabel Hunter. An information stand at Berwick library on Tuesday and a stall at the market on Wednesday was set up to explain more about dementia and how Alzheimer’s Society can help.

There are thought to be more than 4,800 people living with dementia in Northumberland.

Berwick-based Alzheimer’s Society dementia support worker Una Armstrong said: “Dementia has replaced cancer as the health condition people fear most, but many people feel confused or even ashamed to talk about it.

“We bury our heads in the sand from time to time but it is important to seek help.

“The sooner you know what you’re dealing with, the sooner you can get on with your life and feel in control again.”

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