Ottery Help Scheme receive support for £13.5k bid to put forward dementia initiative

The Station - Ottery St Mary. Picture: Google Maps

The Station - Ottery St Mary. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A bid has been launched to secure thousands of pounds in funding to provide a new dementia initiative around the Ottery parish.

Ottery Help Scheme's chief officer Emily Lezzeri. Picture: Ottery Help Scheme

Ottery Help Scheme's chief officer Emily Lezzeri. Picture: Ottery Help Scheme - Credit: Archant

Ottery Help Scheme is hoping it can secure £13,500 of Communities Together funding from the district council to extend its memory café service to nearby villages, as well as build dementia friendly environment.

The initiative has the support of Ottery Town Council, and six parish councils in Aylesbeare, Buckerell, Feniton, Gittisham Talaton and West Hill.

Emily Lezzeri, chief officer of the help scheme, said if funding could be secured, the charity would spend the year drawing up a seven-point action plan to identify what was needed in the community.

Emily said: “It’s a two pronged project. We have very successful dementia action alliances in other areas, Sidmouth, Honiton, Budleigh but not in Ottery.

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“The first bit is about early stages of dementia and people living in the community, maybe who have recently been diagnosed, to enable them to try and carry on their normal life, as much as possible, and making local shops and businesses aware of how they can be more dementia friendly.”

Ottery Help Scheme currently runs a monthly memory café and are looking to expand into a free roaming café service in parish village halls and centres.

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The proposed funding would cover the costs of hiring venues, staff costs and other administrative costs.

Emily said: “De-stigmatising is going to be a key area, that’s one part of the project and the other is looking at rural and social isolation.

“Within a year, we want to have identified this action plan and get them actioned and the next stage will be identifying key volunteers who can make the roaming memory cafés sustainable going forward after the year’s funding.”

As part of the bid, the charity has to contribute £2,700 or 20 per cent of the total amount as part of the local contribution criteria.

Emily said a local organisation has come forward to offer half of the cost, and at last week’s Ottery Town Council meeting, members voted to contribute £500 towards a ‘great initiative’.

The final deadline for communities together submissions is January 16.

East Devon District Council will then consider the applications.

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