MORE than 200 people gathered to support the launch of a new dementia scheme.
Launched at Malpas Jubilee Hall, Dementia Friendly Malpas brings together members of the community, the parish council, voluntary organisations, Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), GPs and the West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Of those in attendance, 120 became ‘dementia friends after attending an information session, pledging to take action to help those in the Malpas community who may be suffering from the illness.
The initiative was supported further as 117 sixth form students from Bishop Heber High School have trained to become dementia friends.
The event was attended by Conservative MP for Eddisbury, Stephen O’Brien, who took part in the morning session. He told a packed audience he “had a deep understanding of the challenges faced” in relation to the increased demands of tackling dementia.
Dr Louise Davies, GP from Laurel Bank Surgery, Malpas and a member of West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group said she was “delighted, overwhelmed and humbled” at the enthusiasm shown at the launch event.
“We want to make the village ‘dementia friendly’ so that the families and carers of those suffering from this condition can be reassured that in Malpas, there will always be understanding and a helping hand,” she said.
“The fact so many people attended and have already become a ‘dementia friend’ is truly wonderful and hopefully inspirational encouraging all in our community to become involved.”
A highlight of the launch was a keynote address by Prof Alistair Burns, national clinical lead for dementia, who told attendees he was “truly impressed” by the launch and claimed it to be the best event of its kind he had attended.
Malpas councillor Ann Wright said: “It was an excellent and well-attended event, which dispelled many of the myths around dementia.
“I am extremely proud Malpas has taken the first step towards becoming the first of what will hopefully be many dementia friendly communities in West Cheshire.”
The launch included a social drama presentation from the Liverpool- based, AFTA Thought company, with stalls providing information from a number of organisations.