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Dementia Friendly Honiton increases crucial support thanks to new funding

12th April 2021

Honiton Memory Cafe Dementia Friendly Ambling Group.jpg

People with dementia have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In East Devon, new funding from our Neighbourhood Fund is enabling Dementia Friendly Honiton to help more people to find out about the fantastic initiatives it offers in the region.

The volunteer-run organisation has had to make significant changes to continue to support the local 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 removal of this regularity has seen the impact of dementia on the local 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 6-18 pairs joining, but that is small-scale compared to the usual attendance of over 50 the group supported in person pre-pandemic. The coronavirus restrictions have increased the reliance on Honiton’s Admiral Nurse, Fay Valentine, who has a huge positive impact on local carers by helping families cope with the complexities that caring for someone with dementia brings.


The funding awarded 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, added, “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.”


We're 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.


We're 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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