A SERIES of events have been planned as part of Tamworth’s first official National Dementia Awareness Week.
More than a dozen activities, including awareness-raising sessions, coffee mornings, a market stall, a walk and a tea party will take place across the borough between Sunday, May 14 and Saturday, May 20.
Participation in the national event is one of the first initiatives to be held since Tamworth was granted Dementia Friendly Community status to help improve the lives of people living with dementia.
Activities are being organised and co-ordinated by the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance (TDAA) – a partnership of stakeholders working together to raise awareness and improve services locally. The TDAA now boasts 17 member organisations including Tamworth Borough Council, the police, fire service, health care services and providers, community groups and businesses.
It was revealed last week that Tamworth had become the 200th area to be granted Dementia Friendly Community status, after working towards the goal for just over a year. Dementia Friendly Communities are focused on ensuring people with dementia – and their carers – feel safe, supported and involved in community life.
Throughout the awareness week, people are invited to coffee mornings, drop-in sessions and support groups. There will also be more opportunities for volunteer knitters to get together, pick up their needles and use their craft skills to help people with dementia by creating ‘Twiddle Muffs’.
Twiddle Muffs are double thickness hand muffs which have buttons, bows, pompoms, zips and other bits and bobs attached, both inside and out. Some have pouches and pockets for hankies.
Twiddle Muffs help people with dementia to occupy their restless hands, as well as providing visual, tactical and sensory stimulation and helping to reduce anxiety.
A pattern for Twiddle Muffs – which can be created in any colour or variety of shades – can be found on Tamworth Borough Council’s website at http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/twiddle-muffs. The Twiddle Muffs will then be distributed to people with dementia and organisations which support them.
The full timetable of events taking place as part of National Dementia Awareness Week can be seen below and is available to view on the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance website.
Cllr Andrew James, Tamworth Borough Council’s Lead Member for dementia, said: “Tamworth has just been granted Dementia Friendly Community status and as such is working towards making Tamworth a better place for people living with dementia. A key part of this is raising awareness about dementia and the issues faced by people affected by it.
“Adding National Dementia Awareness Week to the town’s official events calendar is one of the first major initiatives of the Tamworth Dementia Action Alliance and will play an important part in raising awareness and engaging with people with dementia to find out how they can be better supported.
“Activities include a tea party at Sir Robert Peel Hospital, a coffee morning at Peel Medical Practice, a market stall in the town centre, a Dementia Friends orienteering walk in the Castle Grounds and Tea and Twiddle sessions in Ankerside Shopping Centre.
“I hope as many people as possible get involved in the week, whether it’s by knitting a Twiddle Muff, or just taking the time to find out a bit more about dementia to increase their understanding of the condition and how they can help people living with it.”