Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS FT have set up a new wellbeing and community drop-in hub for people with dementia and their carers in Middlesbrough, due to open on Wednesday.
The hub is expected to be a community base for people living with dementia and their carers, offering a meet up place, an opportunity to take part in activities and events, and a place for support, advice and help from various organisations.
Through the activities and support in place, it aims to ensure mental and physical health is a priority for older people with dementia in the local area, as well as making sure they are able to access the support and advice when needed.
Allison Cook, Locality Manager for older people’s services at TEWV, said “It really is important for our mental health to feel part of a community – this can help us feel connected and help maintain wellbeing.
“During the pandemic, many support organisations and social meet up points were closed to meet government requirements. This has led to many people losing their social contacts and support systems with many feeling isolated and lonely.
“The new hub will offer local older people living with dementia a base to come along and chat, enjoy activities and keep physically and mentally active. Many organisations will be on hand to support local people who might need advice, support or a friendly chat.”
It is a collaborative project with Middlesbrough Council and Public Health South Tees, with the day-to-day operations being ran by health, social care and support organisations from the local area, Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough MIND, Nuvo Well, The Sunshine Project, Age UK, Carers Together, Terry Doyle’s holistic therapies, Middlesbrough College, the Sanctuary, and the Alzheimer’s Society.
The hub will offer a Range of information for anyone pre- and post-dementia diagnosis. It hopes to recruit people who are attending, providing them with a leading role in running the centre as the hub develops.
Designing the hub involved input from a wide range of organisations and from people taking part in the trust’s patient and carer participation group.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “The last year and a half has been tough for everyone, so it’s more important than ever that the right help and support is there for those in need, when and where they need it most.
“This new community hub brings together an amazing array of services so they can work together better, and that will be a huge benefit to countless people, their families and the whole community.”
New furniture and equipment have been funded by The Teesside Family Foundation charity. It is run by volunteer trustees, supported by local companies, which raises funds for Teesside in a variety of ways.
Tony Wedlake, from The Teesside Family Foundation, said “We are very proud to sponsor the new well-being hub. We feel funding the furniture to help get this project going is just the start, we hope to continue and help provide days out, afternoon teas, fish and chip Fridays, and activities in an ongoing journey.”
Some of the daily activities at the hub run by voluntary care sector organisations will start in August and include:
- Gardening activities
- Art activities
- Befriending support
- Emotional support
- Carers groups
- Patient and care activities that can be completed together
- Drop in coffee mornings
- Carpet bowls
- Benefits advice
- A contact point for queries regarding older people’s mental health.