Seckford Care secures East Suffolk Council Boost Grant funding to develop a new Dementia Carers Group

Seckford Care secures East Suffolk Council Boost Grant funding to develop a new Dementia Carers Group

Seckford Care is pleased to announce that it has secured a Boost Grant of nearly £5,000 from East Suffolk Council to develop a new Dementia Carers Group, in partnership with Woodbridge Dementia Project.

The new initiative will be headed up by Seckford Care’s Cathy O’Brien, Head of Development and Communities, and Chair of Woodbridge Dementia Group.

The East Suffolk Council grant will enable the development of a dedicated support group for carers of those living with Dementia within the Woodbridge area, whilst offering fully-funded safe spaces for their loved ones in Seckford Care’s well-equipped Seckford Day Club.

In order for Seckford Care to be able to qualify for Boost Grant funding, the criteria from East Suffolk Council was that the initiative must: 1) apply to the local area; 2) be an entirely new concept for the community; 3) provide an activity for those living with Dementia, along with the carer; 4) be independently sustainable beyond the allocated grant-funded period – which is up until November 2022.

Seckford Care plans to launch the new Dementia Carers Group at the end of July, offering two one-hour sessions per week, for up to five people for each session. An important element of the new initiative is that both carers and those living with Dementia will be able to take part in the group at the same time – thought to be the first such concept across the region.

Cathy O’Brien, Head of Development and Communities at Seckford Care, and Chair of Woodbridge Dementia Group, said:

“We are grateful to East Suffolk Council for their generous funding. Through this new partnership with Woodbridge Dementia Project, our aim is to continually strive to improve the quality of care, support and opportunities for those living with Dementia and their carers.

“There are over 12,500 people registered with Dementia in Suffolk, and this number is rising. Dementia can leave people feeling isolated or unable to contribute to society, which is why groups such as this are so important to help people to keep active and live well with Dementia, along with providing a valuable support network for their carers.

“We often hear that carers struggle to take part in group activities, as they are not able to leave their loved ones unattended. With this new Dementia Carers Group, we will be able to offer fully-funded spaces for people living with Dementia to attend the Seckford Day Club for the duration of the meeting, whilst their carers can take advantage of the professional advice and support services available – or just take precious time to relax – with the added peace of mind that their loved ones are in very safe hands.”

Julia Catterwell, Communities Officer for East Suffolk Council – and a valued member of Woodbridge Dementia Project – commented:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for local Dementia sufferers and their carers to participate in a social group activity, where they can make new friendships and seek support and advice for their individual’s needs.”

Beyond the funding period, Seckford Care and Woodbridge Dementia Project will seek to develop the group sustainably in local communities in and around the town, minimising the need for travel and ensuring accessibility at a local level.

The partnership intends to recruit local volunteers and provide Dementia awareness training, as part of Seckford Care’s public benefit contribution, including ongoing supervision and support to volunteers, who facilitate groups in local communities.

In time, the aim is to increase and flex the offer of the Dementia Carers Group to include evenings and weekends, in conjunction with Seckford Care’s growth strategy for its popular Seckford Club. Seckford Care’s Cathy O’Brien has been involved with the Woodbridge Dementia Project since its launch in 2018, and has been instrumental in helping to develop the partnership to make Woodbridge a Dementia-friendly town. She is also a passionate and long-standing ‘Dementia Friends Champion’.

Seckford Care would like to hold an initial information session for carers over the coming weeks to find out how they can help to shape the new Group in terms of input and activities.

Photo: Pictured: Cathy O’Brien, Head of Development and Communities at Seckford Care and Chair of Woodbridge Dementia Group,  [CREDIT: Seckford Care]

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