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On World Alzheimer's Day, Kent Community Foundation is highlighting some of the amazing dementia projects it supports throughout Kent and Medway.

In Kent and Medway, it is estimated that by 2020, the number of people over 65 living with dementia is expected to be about 25,000. Kent Community Foundation awards grants to many charities working in the community to support those living with dementia.

Here are some of the charities that have recently received grants for dementia projects;

Alzheimer's & Dementia Support Services, who support people affected by dementia in Gravesham, Dartford, Swanley and the surrounding villages, received a grant of £5,000 to pay for staffing for a new Activity Group. The group will bring together a likeminded group of people who, with the support of highly trained dementia staff, will be able to access local community activity resources. The participants will be encouraged to make choices and experience new activities and surroundings, to develop confidence in their abilities. The benefit of these weekly opportunities for activity is to reduce isolation and increase fitness and wellbeing for each individual. 

Memory Lane Cafe Cranbrook – The group from Cranbrook and its neighbouring villages come together each month for conversation, music and themed nostalgia. The Memory Lane Cafe connects the rural community and empowers those living with dementia. Kent Community Foundation supported this project with a grant of £4,000 to help with booking singers and musicians specialising in music from a bygone era.

Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival CIC – The Kent Community Foundation grant of £6,400 allowed the CIC to employ a puppetry company to work with those living with dementia attending the Age UK Centre to deliver an intergenerational puppetry project with children from a local Primary school. This initiative gives the older people an opportunity to try out new skills including making and manipulating puppets and enjoy the presence of young people while it assists the school children in developing skills in literacy, communication, arts, crafts and independent learning.

Part of the grant was also used to set up a Saturday afternoon puppetry club for people 50+ living in isolation, and possibly vulnerable, who require extra support to attend a club or group.

Bright Shadow CIO – Bright Shadow’s mission is to enable people living with dementia, and those affected by it, to live well and to thrive. They were established in 2009 as experts in creative activities that are fun, meaningful, accessible and challenging. All their activities are aimed to promote wellbeing for people living with dementia. Bright Shadow is passionate about a brighter quality of care, which is invigorating, mood boosting and enhances relationships. Kent Community Foundation awarded £9,700 to support the costs of a two-hour weekly session, offering a range of ways to engage, be multi-sensory, include foreground and background stimulation, encourage people to move safely and be designed to unlock the participants’ own creativity and potential. Importantly, the sessions will be defined by their own dementia culture, be inclusive and social, will nurture friendships, build self-esteem and celebrate individuality. 

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, commented, “It is estimated that by 2020, the number of people over 65 living with dementia in Kent and Medway is expected to be about 25,000. Kent Community Foundation has funding available to support small charities who are making a real difference to their local communities in supporting those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and memory problems. If you know of a local group who require financial support you can find more information here www.kencf.org.uk/apply

About World Alzheimer's Day

World Alzheimer's Day is an international campaign to raise awareness and highlight issues faced by people affected by dementia. It's an opportunity for people and organisations to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with dementia.

Globally, dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. To tackle this global dementia challenge, we need to work together, and to collaborate and share best practice with one another.

To apply for funding for an elderly project through Kent Community Foundation visit www.kencf.org.uk/apply

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind