New day services supporting people with dementia and their carers have opened in Richmond.
Rishi officially opened the new services at Garget Walker House.
Charity Dementia Forward has been commissioned by North Yorkshire County Council and clinical commissioning groups covering the county to deliver its helpline, advice and information and now the Richmond day service.
The town has been without locally-based day services for almost a year. The new service takes a modern, flexible approach catering to individual needs.
Rishi said: “The return of dementia day services in Garget Walker House is very welcome news for those suffering from this debilitating condition and those who support them. I’ve been pleased to offer my assistance to the Friends of Garget Walker House to help get the service up and running again and it is very gratifying that the Friends, Dementia Forward, the county council and the local NHS have worked together so effectively to bring this about.
“I know it will also be much appreciated by the wider community in Richmond, which has been so supportive over many years of the great work that has been carried out there and happily will now resume.”
The charity provides a wraparound service from pre-diagnosis to end of life and currently supports thousands of people in North Yorkshire, using a combination of trained staff and trained volunteers.
“We say ‘it is not about a circle of winged armchairs’,” said Jill Quinn, chief executive officer of Dementia Forward. “There is a place for that, but this is about a very flexible approach to activity to suit each of the individuals coming to the centre. That might be a game of table tennis, but it could be knitting. It is so varied.”
The centre at Garget Walker House will open five days a week, with opening days varying according to need. It will also provide a service unique to Dementia Forward in North Yorkshire for people with young onset dementia, that is people diagnosed under the age of 65.
This will be a more physical group of contemporaries, using leisure centres, swimming, cycling and long walks, as well as the centre. Dementia Forward will also run advice and information clinics from the building.
Anyone in need of Dementia Forward’s support can call the helpline, 03300 578592.