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Forfar and Montrose dementia meeting centres on the horizon to build on pioneering Angus work

Dementia meeting centres will soon open in Montrose and Forfar.
Dementia meeting centres will soon open in Montrose and Forfar.

New centres to support people living with dementia in Angus should be open by the summer.

They are being set up following the pioneering work of Kirrie Connections.

The Kirriemuir dementia hub was the first in Scotland to establish a meeting centre based around the success of a well-established Dutch model.

And now plans to set up new centres in Forfar and Montrose are well advanced.

Meeting centres support people with mild to moderate dementia and their families.

A key characteristic is that meeting centres are influenced by the interests and needs of members.

Forfar event is key stage in project

So those behind the Forfar plan are keen to see a good turnout at a meeting on Monday evening (April 25).

It is being held in Strathmore Cricket Club at 7pm.

The club is co-ordinating the project, but say it is a very much collective community project.

“We are approaching a very important stage in the development of the meeting centre,” they said.

Forfar dementia centre
Strathmore Cricket Club will be the location for the meeting centre.

“We hope to be open to the first members before the summer and need to be confident that the project is moving in the right direction.

“Shortly after the meeting, we intend to be reaching out to people living with dementia and their carers and inviting them to consider whether becoming a member would be a support to them.

“Before we do that, we would really appreciate input from potential members on the plans we have.

“It would therefore by great to see them along at the meeting.”

Montrose May opening

And in Montrose the aim is to have the town’s meeting centre open next month.

Montrose Community Trust is teaming up with the YM Montrose hub on the project.

The meeting centre will be open three days a week and support 10-15 members a day.

Project manager Gemma Lownie said: “There are over 150 meeting centres in the Netherlands that have demonstrated benefits for people living with early dementia.

“Those include reducing behavioural and psychological problems, and delaying admission to residential care.

Montrose community trust
Kylie Bruce, Gemma Lownie and Jan Stephen of Montrose Community Trust are leading the new meeting centre project.

“Following a diagnosis of dementia, people often feel overwhelmed and confused about where to access help.

“We plan for our meeting centre to be a hub of activity and information, providing support on a local level.”

The Forfar and Montrose developments follow a £300,000 funding boost for Kirrie Connections to assist the Angus roll-out.

It received almost £200k after the Glasgow-based Life Changes Trust named the organisation as a local legacy partner.

And Kirrie Connections landed a further £100k through Age Scotland’s About Dementia Project in partnership with the Scottish Government.

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