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Raising awareness about dementia

An original, red Routemaster London Bus will embark on a tour of Waltham Forest next week as part of a week-long series of events aiming to raise awareness about dementia.

Dementia Awareness Week takes place from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 May and the Council is showing its support by organising a range of activities for people living with dementia. There will also be workshops for residents who want to support the awareness-raising initiative.

With support from Alzheimer’s Society and Waltham Forest Dementia Action Alliance, the free-to-attend events have been designed to take residents on a journey through times past and encourage residents of all ages to reminisce together.

Monday 16 May will feature the launch of Vintage Tales Art Exhibition at Gnome House (Blackhorse Lane, E17 6DS) from 4.30pm until 6.30pm. Throughout the spring the Council has been running a series of art workshops in venues across the borough, open to all including people living with dementia. Drawing inspiration from vintage fashion, participants have worked with local artist Anna Alcock to bring their memories to life in this special exhibition. Some items of artwork will also be on display at Leytonstone Library (6 Church Lane, E11 1HH). 

Dementia Friends Workshops take place throughout the week, and the big screen in Walthamstow Town Square will be showing films and photographs of Waltham Forest’s older residents, along with historic footage of the borough. It will also display useful information about services and organisations working in the borough to support people living with dementia and their carers, families and friends.

On Thursday 19 May an original Routemaster bus will be pulling up at locations across the borough to invite passers-by to take part in an interactive show with music, memories and comedy. In addition, a gramophone artist will be spinning some tunes and leading a rousing rendition of the Hokey Cokey – while Vestry House Museum will bring some original items from their collection for residents to have a look at.

Finally on Sunday 22 May Walthamstow Town Square will host All Together Now – a finale to the week featuring music, dance, sing-a-longs and dressing up. Billed as a ‘good ol’ knees up’, visitors will be taken on a musical tour through the decades, and offered the chance to try Tai Chi, take part in a dance workshop and join in a mass sing-a-long. A specially-formed community choir will be performing for the very first time and there will be an array of vintage clothing for visitors to try on.

Cllr Angie Bean, Waltham Forest Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “We’re getting behind Dementia Awareness Week in a big way and hopefully residents will show their support too by taking part.

“Much of what we’re doing as part of the week has been made possible thanks to Victor Charles Laidler, a former Waltham Forest resident who left a sum of money to the borough after his death to help support the Council’s work caring for and protecting our older, vulnerable residents.”

To find out more about Dementia Awareness Week events in Waltham Forest visit Support Dementia Awareness Week on Twitter #DAW2016. Follow the Council @wfcouncil.

Notes to editors

You can find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend by attending one of these workshops:

  • Tuesday 17 May, North Chingford Library (The Green, E4 7EN), 11am–12noon

  • Friday 20 May, Leytonstone Library (6 Church Lane, E11 1HE), 4.30–5.30pm

  • Saturday 21 May, Leyton Library (High Road Leyton, E10 5QH), 1.30–2.30pm

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