Welcome funding for dementia action volunteers

Honiton Memory Cafe Dementia Friendly Ambling Group

South West Water is backing Honiton's dementia action volunteers - Credit: Honiton Memory Cafe

New funding from South West Water is enabling Dementia Friendly Honiton volunteers to help more people to find out about the fantastic initiatives it offers in the region.
The organisation has had to make significant changes to continue to support its community over the past 12 months. The usual weekly meet-ups for those with dementia, essential for creating routine, were completely on hold due to Covid-19. The loss of this routine has seen the impact of dementia on residents escalate further.
In some cases, the team has been able to create online versions of its usual events. It has implemented virtual Memory Café, seeing six to 18 pairs joining, but that is small-scale compared to the usual attendance of over 50 the group supported in person before the pandemic. The coronavirus restrictions have increased the reliance on Honiton’s Admiral Nurse, Fay Valentine, who has had a huge positive impact on local carers by helping families cope with the complexities that caring for someone with dementia brings.
The funding from South West Water is being used to design and implement a new website which will educate and provide details of Dementia Friendly Honiton’s three core community projects and initiatives. Following the pandemic, the organisation is eager to increase awareness of its Honiton Dementia Alliance, the Admiral Nurse and Honiton Memory Café so it can help to improve the lives of those with dementia in East Devon.
Heather Penwarden, chair of Dementia Friendly Honiton, said: “Coronavirus has had a huge impact on our work, having undone the stability and routine we created with monthly meetings and memory cafés. We are really looking forward to having a new website over the next couple of months to raise awareness of our good work and create a further alliance in Devon surrounding dementia-friendly organisations. 
“Everything we do is community focused and about supporting our local area. The Neighbourhood Fund’s donation is hugely valued and the website will be incredibly well used. We’d like to thank the team at South West Water for the opportunity this funding is allowing us.”
Jo Ecroyd, South West Water customer service director, said: “The pandemic has had a devastating effect on so many people across our community, we’re proud to help the likes of Dementia Friendly Honiton to have a positive impact on the local people. It’s such a valued organisation and we’re thrilled that this funding will help to spread the word about its incredible work to help those living with dementia in East Devon.”
South West Water is giving back to the region it works within and cares about by actively improving the lives of its people and the places they love for generations to come. The pandemic has emphasised the importance of local communities and South West Water is investing in supporting people across Devon and Cornwall to build back and connect communities. The South West Water Neighbourhood Fund is making a tangible difference to the lives of people living in Devon and Cornwall.
South West Water is making this investment to better the lives of local people through funding projects which protect nature and the environment for the benefit of community health and well-being; provide new opportunities for people to learn and develop; bring communities together, virtually or physically – when safe to do so; and/or support the upkeep of local neighbourhood centres and facilities to keep communities strong.

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