Worthing’s phenomenal community – uniting people to challenge the stigma of dementia.
Worthing’s Dementia Action Alliance made sure than Dementia Action Day in the town would not be missed in 2019. The event was bigger and better than last year with stalls offering information, care advice, services and support; the loan of a vintage 1960s bus from Stagecoach; the Worthing Town Crier and Mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe; a group of people with dementia, their carers and support workers plus pupils from St Andrews school on board to help. The unforgettable road trip to Ferring for lunch at the Abbeyfield Ferring Centre with entertainment and singing on a sunny spring day could not have been planned better. Passengers and their carers soaked up the nostalgia of days gone by and joined in with the peals of ‘Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah’.
Linda O’Sullivan, Head of London and the South for the Alzheimer’s Society summed it up as ‘phenomenal’ and went on to explain that ‘Dementia Action Week is about uniting people and communities to take action.
Promoting awareness of dementia and joining a social network can make a real difference in challenging the stigma that surrounds this condition. We know that people feel isolated but what we have here, is a real community making things work and, seeing young people here today is inspiring.’
Worthing’s Mayor, of only two days, Hazel Thorpe, described ‘the amount of work and effort that had been put in behind the scenes showed how hard people had worked. She said her mayoral year was to highlight, support and promote the people who don’t always get the recognition they deserve and said that everyone should be very proud of what they had achieved to bring this day together.’
The charity’s chairman and Town Crier, Bob Smytherman thanked Stagecoach and the driver Mark for a stunning ride on the green Leyland Titan through Worthing, Goring, Tarring and Ferring. Taking centre-stage on the bus everyone heard his bell before they saw the bus which drew attention to the dementia-friendly message on the sides of the bus. Thanks to pupils from St Andrews, a dementia-friendly school; all charities and organisations for supporting the event in the town; Abbeyfield Ferring and Home Instead for sponsoring the lunch.
Stalls in the town drew people who would not usually stop to talk about dementia and they discovered support from the care providers and charities within the town.