Kirriemuir to become ‘dementia friendly’

20150416- Dementia Garden. 'Derek Marshall chairman of Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership and councillor Jeanette Gaul pictured at the sight of the planned dementia garden in Kirriemuir. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES ''No use without payment.

20150416- Dementia Garden. 'Derek Marshall chairman of Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership and councillor Jeanette Gaul pictured at the sight of the planned dementia garden in Kirriemuir. ''Copyright Andy Thompson Photography / ATIMAGES ''No use without payment.

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A community initiative in Kirriemuir has been given £269,000 in funding to help make its community ‘dementia friendly’.

Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership will create a dementia friendly community based on ideas from local people.

They will use the funding to develop a dementia friendly garden close to the town centre, develop an information hub for support, information and advice, improve signage around the town centre and provide awareness raising sessions for schools, businesses and community groups.

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.

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, with the Kirriemuir project beginning in May.

Derek Marshall, chairman of Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership said: “We want the people of Kirriemuir affected by dementia to exercise more choice and control over their lives. We plan to ‘Get it Right for Dementia’ in this small rural town, where the rate of dementia per 100 patients is higher than both Tayside and Scotland as a whole. We will do this by changing attitudes and promoting inclusion throughout the work we do.”

Anna Buchanan, Director of the Life Changes Trust dementia programme, said: “This funding will help Kirriemuir and Dean Area Partnership develop and sustain a community for people with dementia and their carers to feel they are supported to do things that are meaningful to them, valued as individuals and involved as members of society. Developed by and for people affected by dementia, this initiative will focus on empowerment, community inclusion and what people with dementia can do, rather than what they cannot.”

The Life Changes Trust is committed to funding and supporting the development of Dementia Friendly Communities across Scotland and to supporting transformational improvements in the quality of life, well-being, empowerment and inclusion of people affected by dementia.