Honiton's long-awaited Admiral Nurse has helped more than 25 families since filling post

PUBLISHED: 08:30 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 15 July 2019

Honiton Admiral Nurse Fay Valentine. Picture: Heather Penwarden

Honiton Admiral Nurse Fay Valentine. Picture: Heather Penwarden

Archant

More than 25 families across Honiton and its surrounding parishes have been helped by the town's new Admiral Nurse since she came into post.

Fay Valentine, who was appointed following a well-supported campaign to raise funds for her employment, has been working with families caring for a loved one with dementia.

Many more have been supported through regular drop-in visits to Honiton Memory Café and Honiton Carers Group.

With each home visit lasting an average of 120 minutes, Fay has been helping families to deal with the complexities of caring, providing coping strategies and enabling carers to manage their own stress and anxiety as a result of living with the difficult, everyday reality of dementia.

As well as helping families, Fay has assisted 98 professionals by giving advice, guidance, joint working and bespoke training.

Fay said: "I have been exceptionally fortunate to be welcomed by such a proactive dementia-friendly community.

"This has been demonstrated through the recent celebration at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery where I was delighted to learn that the hard work undertaken by the Honiton Dementia Action Alliance had received The Queens Award for Voluntary Services, an accolade they justly deserve.

"Being located in the health and social care team at the Honiton Community Hospital has enabled me to easily access support services that are vital to enable the carer and their loved one with dementia to continue to live their lives together more positively.

"The teams have been both supportive and accepting of my role and utilise eagerly the skills and knowledge I have to enhance their own practices for the benefit of people with dementia and their carers."

Fay's work has been praised by Heather Penwarden, chair of Honiton Dementia Action Alliance.

She said: "Fay is absolutely everything we had hoped for in our Admiral Nurse, she has expert knowledge in caring for people with dementia and supporting their families with the challenges that face them on this journey.

"Alongside her professional skills Fay is kind, compassionate and friendly and we are already getting lots of positive feedback from families and fellow professionals about how helpful she has been.

"We are so very pleased that 18 months ago we took the decision to start a major campaign to raise funds for this vital role."

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