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    We started as the Worthing Area Dementia Forum in October 2013 organising bi-monthly public meetings at Guild Care and the Worthing Alzheimer Society’s head offices. Supported by Carers Support West Sussex and Coastal West Sussex Mind, we set out to establish a dementia friendly community in the Worthing area.

    Run by volunteers, with the assistance of the above charities, our vision remains to create a dementia friendly community where people living with dementia and their unpaid carers are active participants within the local area. Our aim is to make Worthing, and its surroundings, a place where people living with the disease can remain independent and have choice and control over their lives within a safe, rewarding and supportive environment.

    People who live with dementia talk about the effect of social isolation and stigma. They have told us how they have lost friends following a diagnosis and find it a struggle to use local services.

    Common misunderstandings such as ‘it’s an inevitable part of ageing’ and ‘nothing can be done to improve the lives of people living with dementia’ prevents society becoming dementia-friendly and supporting those who need it most.

    The original forum became the Worthing Dementia Action Alliance towards the end of 2015 and our local Dementia Friends Champions have created 2,859 Dementia Friends within the local Worthing area. In October 2017 we agreed a constitution at our inaugural AGM.

    Meetings have included a wide variety of speakers including Dr Bikram Raychaudhury, CCG Lead for Dementia and Lucy Frost, Dementia Nurse Consultant, Sussex Community NHS Partnership Trust. Topics discussed have included financial care planning, local service provision for people with dementia, end-of-life guidance, care fees, Power of Attorney, the hospital Butterfly Scheme, respite and safeguarding, to name but a few.

    We have volunteered endlessly to establish Worthing as a truly Dementia Friendly Community working not just with people living with dementia and their carers but with the wider stakeholders who, working together, can improve the lives of people with dementia in the Worthing area. This has included our fire and rescue services, local authorities, community groups, charities, businesses, care providers and health trusts.

    Worthing became one of the first Dementia Friendly Communities supported by local businesses, organisations and charities.

    Each business and organisation created their own unique action plan outlining their support for people with dementia and their carers which led to hundreds of clubs, groups, services and organisations playing a valuable part in raising awareness and support for this disease.

    In spring 2021 we were successful with a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to establish a Worthing Dementia Hub, together with new local services, in partnership with the Abbeyfield Ferring Society. 

    As we add to this story in April 2024, that funding has come to an end and we have just closed the hub in South Farm Road, Worthing and hope to move, a few services to Beehive Care in Ferring, if new funding becomes available.

    This website will continue for a few more weeks to support people with dementia, their carers and families. The website is full of information, advice, and signposting. The website is well-used by local health professionals, employers, councillors, students, GPs, community stakeholders and charities, who are all keen to ‘make a difference’ to help people ‘live well’ with dementia and maintain their independent lifestyles for as long as they can.

    To contact Dementia Friendly Worthing please contact us