Next month will see the launch of a new support service for anybody living with dementia or caring for somebody with dementia. The free drop-in service will run at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre once a month, with the first session taking place between 11am and 1pm, Wednesday, 4 October 2023. 
Run by the Dementia Community Support Team, the hub will be managed by the Castle Point Dementia Navigator and supported by a Sport For Confidence Occupational Therapist. 
Talking about the new service, Lin Taylor, Dementia Navigator, says: “The new dementia hub will provide an opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to access a safe, therapeutic community space, which promotes activity and well-being. It provides an opportunity to seek direct in-person support and advice from me, the local Dementia Navigator. This includes support with information, future planning and referrals to other services and activities. 
“There is also support and advice available from the Sport for Confidence Occupational Therapist focused on supporting individuals to participate in meaningful occupation/activity to support health and wellbeing. Occupational Therapists are perfectly placed as the ‘activity-health link’, enabling participation in activities that drive positive occupational outcomes. 
“According to the NHS website, in the UK more than 850,000 individuals are living with dementia, supported by 540,000 carers. Dementia touches so many people. It is estimated that one in three people will care for somebody living with dementia at some stage in their life. In Castle Point and Rochford, the number of people aged 65 and over with Dementia is expected to rise by nearly 50% in the next 20 years. (Source: Castle Point and Rochford Health and Wellbeing Board) So, this support service will provide a lifeline for many people living in and around the area.” 
In addition to advice and support, visitors to the walk-in hub will also have the opportunity to see the Sport For Confidence Boccia session. Lucy Goldup, Occupational Therapist at Sport For Confidence says: “People living with a long-term health condition, such as dementia, are half as likely to be physically active as the rest of the population. This means, so many people are missing out on the many social, physical, and mental benefits that activity and sport has to offer. 
“Our Boccia sessions welcome everyone and are tailored to the needs of each participant to create a fun, meaningful experience for all. We hope that if we can encourage people to see the Boccia session, as part of the walk-in dementia hub, they might be interested in some of the many other activities provided by Sport For Confidence at Waterside Farm and other leisure centres across the county.” 
Shane Williams, Leisure Centre and Community Services Manager based at Castle Point Leisure Centre, says: “It is fantastic that our leisure centre is hosting this new community service. Not everyone feels at ease in a clinical environment so offering this service in the leisure centre will, hopefully, break down barriers and improve accessibility, helping ensure support reaches those who most need it.” 
To find out more about the free, walk in dementia hub at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, please contact the Dementia Community Support Team on 01702 534772 or email 
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