Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells Dementia Friendly Communities.
The combined Tonbridge & Tunbridge Wells DFC groups met on March 16th to consider the way forward out of lockdown. Clearly everything has to be within the current restrictions and absolutely safe for you all.
As soon as it is safe the following cafes and peer support groups will be opening.
The Forget me not cafes at St Johns church Hildenborough and at the premises of Home Instead Senior care in Halls Hole Lane Tunbridge Wells. For details of opening, dates and times please check their website as these cafes are not run by us. http://www.forgetmenotcafe.org.uk
New cafe will be opening at St Phillips Church, Salisbury Road, Tonbridge.
Plans are moving forward for a cafe at Tonbridge Cottage Hospital, where we have contributed to a 1950s style cafe which is being installed in the old day room. As hospitals and care homes will be the last to open their doors to the general public this may not be available to you for some time.
Age Exchange, a fantastic organisation, who have their flagship premises in Blackheath have entered a partnership with Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells where they plan to deliver various forms of support for those who live with dementia, similar to those on offer in Blackheath. https://www.age-exchange.org.uk
Singing is not only good for physical health, but improves general wellbeing by allowing people to live in the moment and enjoy themselves, regardless of age or cognitive ability.
Trinity Encore, weekly workshops run by facilitator Jade Cuthbert at the Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wellswas a project which expanded beyond the theatre, with additional weekly workshops taking place in local care homes for those unable to attend onsite. The choir made a huge impact on those who attended. In 2019 Encore delivered its first showcase, inviting staff and funders to come along, join in and learn more about the amazing work taking place. Sadly Covid-19 meant the project had to be paused, but they are passionate about bringing it back as soon as possible!
Musical Memories delivered by the Tonbridge Lions club at Barnes Lodge (Rapport) care home in Tonbridge on our behalf plans to restart as soo as we can. However, we may have to find an alternative venue, at least until Barnes Lodge can again be safely used.
Find your voice, previously held in the church at Langton Green is looking for a new home. The church was not ideal as there is nowhere to park close enough for those with restricted mobility. We are currently working with the organisers to find a new home for later this year in the Tunbridge Wells area
We know what a tough year you have all had, and we are working as hard as we can to deliver support groups for you across our two communities.
Tonbridge Parish Church will be hosting a carer support cafe once a month as soon as it can safely open and we are working hard to provide one more in Tonbridge and two in Tunbridge Wells.
In the meantime we shall be very grateful if you can let us know what support and information would be helpful to you in your role as a carer. The list is endless, but subjects might include: Diet, easy dress clothing, incontinence, behaviours, sleep patterns and financial, including benefits you are entitled to.
If we know what will help, not necessarily now, but for the future, we can organise experts in those fields to come along to carer groups to talk to you.
In the meantime there are organisations who can help you. Carers UK https://www.carersuk.org/ and locally Crossroads Kent https://www.crossroadskent.org/
The Kent Dementia Helpline is a freephone service for people with dementia, their carers, families and friends.Between 9am-5pm Monday – Friday, we offer help & support, or discuss any concerns that callers may have. 0800 500 3014
Prior to lockdown there were several sporting facilities available to those who live with dementia which all had to close. Some may not resume, but I am pleased to say that the Angel Indoor Bowls club in Tonbridge is re-opening on May 17th. They have a very well organised accessible bowling section and is one of our dementia aware local businesses. Please contact the club directly for information. https://www.angelibc.co.uk
If we have learned anything this year it's how important outdoor space is to all of us regardless of our cognitive abilities. Tonbridge DFC has been working very closely with the Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for the last 18 months to establish a sensory walk in Tonbridge Park. The project ground to a standstill during last year but is now moving on apace with the hope that it will be open for use by late spring or early summer. The walk is a very short one around the bowling Green and tennis courts and will feature a series of display boards with information about the local area. Some of the boards will be tactile and some interactive and each will be placed close to a bench to make the walk accessible for those with mobility issues. We will of course keep you fully informed about this project and the completion date. One of the display boards is shown below.
Dementia Action Week will soon be upon us once more from May 17th. We plan to at least show our presence in both towns, so please watch out for our volunteers and say hello.
Don't forget to let us know if we can help in any way, and please do send this on to anyone you know who would like to be added to our mailing list. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org