Kirrie Connections is taking the first steps towards welcoming people into its new dementia hub in the town.
The successful organisation took over Roods premises during lockdown.
Work has now begun in earnest on the transformation of the former funeral business to give the organisation much greater space to deliver a wide range of activities.
Kirrie Connections chief officer, Graham Galloway said: “We hope to open to the public by June.
“While the work is going on we are continuing with a lot of what we do and have recently started a weekly health walk.
“It is a collaboration with the charity Paths for All and it is great to see people out and about.
“We now have some dedicated walkers who are coming out every week, rain or shine,” said Graham.
“Many people’s physical health has declined over the past year.
“The health walk is a great way of getting both some gentle exercise and much-needed social contact.
“As well as that, we continue to run a variety of online support groups every week.
“Those range from carers groups to arts and crafts and music sessions.”
Meeting centres working group
He added: “On a national level, Kirrie Connections is now chairing a working group of other organisations looking at developing the meeting centre model in their areas.
“This group contains organisations from Angus, Dunblane, East Lothian, Fife, Orkney, Peebles, Prestwick and West Pentlands.”
In 2019, Kirrie Connections brought the meeting centre model to Scotland for the first time.
It opened following a collaboration with Worcester University to develop a project based around an initiative from the Netherlands.
At its heart is a club where people can talk to others and get support that focuses on their particular needs.
The Dutch model has been running for more than 20 years.
Studies there have shown that after seven months of participation in meeting centres, people with dementia demonstrated fewer behavioural and mood problems.
Other benefits include increased activity, less unsocial and depressed behaviour, and a higher self-esteem than those using regular day care.
“We would live to see every town have its own meeting centre so this latest working group is a very positive step,” said Graham.