Village now dementia friendly after launch

Hethersett Dementia steering committee at the launch of the movement.

Hethersett Dementia steering committee at the launch of the movement. - Credit: Archant

A drive to turn Hethersett into a dementia friendly village has been launched.

More than 60 people attended an event on Thursday, May 14 at Hethersett Hall Care Home to launch the movement.

Local businesses, groups and organisations were present as the village became only the seventh place in Norfolk to become officially dementia friendly.

Compered by former Hethersett GP Tony Press, there were speeches from Leslie Evans, whose parents both lived with dementia, Willie Cruickshank, director of the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, Zena Aldridge, lead Admiral nurse for Norfolk, and Tina Neil, training and staff development officer for Age UK Norfolk.

Mrs Evans said: 'Attitudes are changing but my experience was one of fear and being frightened. Carers can suffer from the guilt of not being able to do anything to help.'

The first Hethersett Hub Dementia Support Cafe launches for the first time this morning.

The cafe will meet monthly and will support those living with dementia and their carers.

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At last week's meeting, Mr Cruickshank said: 'Out of 25 babies born in Norwich today, three will live to be 100. Current life expectancy in Norfolk is 84 years.

'At the outbreak of the First World War it was just 43.

'We have to ask how we add life to people's years. The fear amongst sufferers can be overwhelming - a fear and lack of confidence in going out, a fear of getting lost and a fear of becoming a burden. Some sufferers get out as little as once a month.

'There is still ignorance and a stigma about dementia. It remains a very complex subject. It is a disease of the brain and an organ failure just like other physical failures.'

Mrs Neil encouraged people living in the village to take part in free dementia awareness workshops taking part in the village.

These will take place at Woodcote Sheltered Housing Scheme in Firs Road on Tuesday, May 26 from 2pm to 5pm and Tuesday, June 2 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Do you have a story about a community group we should know about? Email reporter Lauren Cope on