An initiative to provide more support for people with dementia and their families is being launched in Ellesmere.

The town’s Our Space community hub on Trimpley Street already runs a monthly Memory Cafe. Now organisers are aiming to take a lead in raising awareness and providing practical help for those affected by the condition.

It comes as the Alzheimer’s Society holds a series of events and activities from May 15-21 to mark Dementia Awareness week.
“It’s reckoned that someone in the UK develops dementia every three minutes and we need to raise awareness,” explained Dr Mike Grierson, assistant manager at Our Space.

“Many people with dementia feel cut off from society. They feel others are unaware of, or have little understanding about the condition, and don’t know how to interact with them. It makes them feel lonely and isolated just when they need support and friendship.

“Everyone has a part to play in making a community like Ellesmere a dementia-friendly place and that’s what we want to encourage. People affected by dementia still have much to offer. If supported well and their confidence is boosted, they can continue to play an active and valuable role many years after diagnosis. People want to contribute to community life.”

As a first step, Dr Grierson, who has a background in mental health care, is hoping more people will join in activities at the Memory Cafe, which offers a warm welcome to people living with dementia as well as their families and friends.
“Our numbers declined because of Covid pandemic restrictions, but we’re keen to encourage more people to come along and meet up for a cup of tea or coffee, have a chat and sometimes listen to music or enjoy other activities with our friendly volunteers and staff. The next session is on Monday, May 15 from 2-4 pm.

Dr Grierson added: “I hope we can begin to develop other ideas to make life better for those affected by dementia, such as exercise sessions, quizzes, arts and crafts, trying new hobbies, cinema outings, walks, computer classes and even providing opportunities to take part in voluntary work.

“It needs a real push and that means involving all sections of the Ellesmere community, including schools, churches, sports and social clubs as well as other groups.
“There are currently around 900,000 people affected by dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040, so we need to be taking action now.”Our Space, which includes Ellesmere Library, is run by the social care charity Bethphage.

Anyone needing support with dementia or offering help to provide new activities can contact Dr Grierson at Our Space on 01691 622584 or e mail: