Langport Dementia Action Alliance supports people living with dementia and their carers in the Langport area. Julia Gadd tells us how the funding from The Somerset Fund can help to make such difference.
“We support people living with dementia and their carers in the Langport area. Our aim is to make Langport and the surrounding area a more friendly place for those living with dementia and their carers by supporting those who are living with dementia and raising awareness in the community.
It’s mostly those who are living at home with their carers, but we also work with some of the local care homes, whose residents also come along to some of our events when they can. We involve the community in our work and deliver dementia awareness training sessions in local schools and shops. We have a logo and put stickers up showing which shops are Dementia Friendly.
We normally hold weekly Monday sessions: Monday Music in the village hall is where children from the local schools come along, talk to the people living with dementia, then we all have a sing-a-long and coffee and cakes afterwards. The music triggers something in people living with dementia, it really gets them going and it’s clear it brings them joy. And to see that brings the carers joy, too.
We also have Monday Meandering walking sessions. It means the carers can get together and walk and talk with someone different; someone who understands.
We normally do quite a few intergenerational activities, starting with toddlers up.
The last year has been very different, of course. We’re always working to make new connections with people who are living with dementia in their homes; we advertise locally and have a Facebook page, and the local vicar is involved – she quite often signposts us to people we can reach out to, as it’s been quite difficult to find people during the lockdown.
The Somerset Fund grant helped to fund our Christmas hampers, and also our weekly hot meal deliveries – and they have been really important in helping us to stay in touch with people. When we drop off their food we’ll have a little chat with people and just make sure they’re OK.
Langport has a strong community. People value this place we all live in, they know your face and everyone looks out for one another. Although the community gets involved in what we do, we couldn’t do all the things we do without support from funding such as The Somerset Fund. It’s the small things that are valued the most sometimes, and that would be impossible without your support.”