An innovative project designed to make Kirriemuir more ‘dementia friendly’ is set to pave the way forward to a better understanding of the condition for those affected, and their carers.
A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes for over two years to secure Lottery Funding of £269,000 for the initiative which will begin in May.
Funding is for three years and comes from the Life Changes Trust, an independent charity set up with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of two key groups in Scotland: people affected by dementia and care experienced young people.
The Trust will invest £3 million in 14 different dementia friendly communities over the next three years.
First to break the news was Angus Councillor Jeanette Gaul, who said she was “absolutely delighted” with the £269,000.
She said: “There were 72 applications and only 14 groups were given money. It’s brilliant.”
Mrs Gaul has worked closely with the Kirriemuir and District Area Partnership to put forward the exciting plans to bring various sections of the Kirriemuir together.
She continued: “I have been thinking about doing something about dementia in Kirriemuir for some time and this opportunity came forward.
“I spoke with officers from Angus Council and got more information about it.”
Councillor Gaul has worked closely with Derek Marshall, chairman of the Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership, and Anne Mollison of Angus Council’s community planning, and their eventual application was successful.
She continued: “We are going to create a dementia garden behind Lyell Court and are looking to use the ACCESS office as a drop-in for people to use as an office.
“We will be working with different groups - churches, businesses, the health service etc., to raise awareness of dementia.”
The funding will also be used to develop a network of local ‘dementia friends’ and ‘dementia champions’ who will bring businesses, organisations and local people together to support and deliver this new community initiative.
Pat Brodlie of Alzheimers Scotland Angus has also played an important role in the planning stage and a steering group will now be set up to take the project forward.
Councillor Gaul added: “This is a great amount of money and I just hope it can make a difference in Kirriemuir for those with dementia, not just those over 65 but those younger.”