New leadership to keep 'vital' town dementia group going

Wendy Chard of Home Instead is excited to offer support to the residents of Felixstowe who are affected by dementia.

Wendy Chard of Home Instead is excited to offer support to the residents of Felixstowe who are affected by dementia. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A group offering support to dementia sufferers in Felixstowe has been offered a new lease of life.

Memory Lane Support Group offers a lifeline to many families affected by dementia and provides an opportunity to socialise in a friendly environment and bond over shared experiences.

The support group was originally started by the Felixstowe Dementia Action Alliance (FXDAA).

However, with nobody able to run the group, Home Instead home carers of Ipswich, Felixstowe and Woodbridge have risen to the challenge.

The two groups will now work together to help Memory Lane grow and flourish.

Left, Helen Greengrass, Chair of FXDAA, and right, Wendy Chard of Home Instead.

Left, Helen Greengrass, Chair of FXDAA, and right, Wendy Chard of Home Instead. The Memory Lane Café will be held on alternate Fridays at Felixstowe Salvation Army hall. - Credit: Home Instead

Members are also celebrating the return of the group’s ‘Memory Lane Café,’ a free session that will now meet in the Salvation Army Hall in Felixstowe on alternate Fridays. 

Wendy Chard, the community engagement officer and dementia champion for Home Instead, said:  “I am really looking forward to working with local families to support their loved ones.  At Home Instead, we understand how challenging some days can be and we want to help people to live well with dementia.  

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“Our aim is to be there to support the members of the group and to do this over a cup of tea and cake, while having some fun!  We are very excited to be involved in this collaboration.” 

Helen Greengrass, chair of the FXDAA, said: “We are really pleased to be collaborating with Home Instead.  

“Their professional experience with supporting people living with dementia in our community will be invaluable to the group.  Home Instead will also provide access to local information, signposting to resources and information on local care providers that will help those attending the group.”  

The two organisations will also be providing a dementia trained co-ordinator, funded by East Suffolk Council Boost Grant. 

Going forward, FXDAA and Home Instead hope to open a second group, and are currently looking for volunteers. 

In recent months, Felixstowe Memory Lane Support Group has been run by Sally Gallant. She, along with several volunteers, stepped in to keep the café running, for which the local community is very grateful. 

Sally said, “Supporting people living with dementia to be part of our community and not apart from it, is both vital and rewarding.”