Room with a community view

Dementia Action Week 20-26 May

A fire station community room set aside for regular use by a Teesside dementia group has been hailed a huge success.

Teesside Dementia Link Services (TDLS) hold regular meetings at Thornaby Community Fire Station and have already helped some 500 dementia sufferers and their cares.

Gail Walker, a Trustee from TDLS, said: “It is a fantastic building and a great room. It is secure, well equipped and accessible and has everything we need. The staff at the station are first class and friendly and ensure everything is set up and look after us wonderfully well.”

The group holds two sessions every Monday, a Carers Support Group and a Craft Group, and both are well supported. The Support Group gives cares a safe place to chat, relax and share experiences with other carers.

Gail added: “We had been looking for a place like this for a long time and this room is absolutely ideal. It works really well. Dementia is a terrible illness and it affects so many people. Our youngest person in the Thornaby sessions is just 41 with the eldest being 94. But we make sure the emphasis is on fun and laughter and everyone seems to enjoy it.”

Teesside Dementia Link Services is a charity run by volunteers and depends on donations to keep going. It runs a series of services across Teesside. For more information: www.tdls.2016.org

Steve Johnson, Area Manager, Prevention and Protection, Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Our fire stations are the heart of the community and that is why we have made rooms available for use by local charities, groups, businesses and other organisations.

“ It is heartening to hear that the Thornaby Station is being put to such good to use and helping so many people. I am sure there are countless other success stories right across Cleveland.”

Cleveland firefighters regularly carry out Safe and Well Visits in homes to identify any extra support that vulnerable people may need and signpost the help available. Parts of the visits can include a dementia questionnaire which indicate any signs of the illness and where appropriate referrals will be made to access specialist support.

Community rooms are available to hire for a small fee at Stockton, Thornaby, Headland, Middlesbrough, Redcar Community Fire Stations.