23rd Oct, 2017

Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre to continue running despite fears of closure

Lorna Morris 11th Aug, 2017

A MUCH-NEEDED Droitwich service which provides people living with Dementia and their families with essential support and advice will continue to run, despites fears of its closure.

The Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre, which is run from the town’s rugby club, offers a specialised programme for up to 64 people, including informative discussion groups, support with practical, emotional and social issues and regular one-to-one advice.

The first of its kind in the UK, since September 2015 the revolutionary service has been delivered by Alzheimer’s Society and researchers from the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies as part of a two-year pilot project.

Despite the project coming to an end this month, the centre will still continue to provide the same service under the management of Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), a group formed by residents and carers.

Chairman of the CIO, Councillor Alan Humphries, is optimistic for the centre’s future and said talks are in place to find a new private or public funder.

He said: “Nothing will change for the service users, it is just that a different organisation will provide the financial support.

“The Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre provides people living with Dementia and their families with support, advice and such recreational and social activities as singing, crafts, music and more.

“These activities work to take the person out of isolation and to give them a chance to get out and remain a part of the community for as long as possible.

“A personalised plan is created for each person by the qualified and friendly staff.

“I just want to let people know that the group is not going to end and if people want to help out in any way or to make a donation they are very welcome to.”

The meeting centre was delivered as part of an EU project entitled MeetingDem which included pilots in Poland and Italy and is also successful in the Netherlands.

Kumbi Mandinyenya, operations manager for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “While the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre has certainly helped many of the people affected by dementia who attended, a private or public funder wishing to take the service beyond the pilot stage has not been identified yet.

“As a result, the pilot project will be ending and regrettably the Meeting Centre will cease to run in its current format as an Alzheimer’s Society service at the end of August.

“We have been supporting the CIO that has been formed by residents, carers and a councillor to manage the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre and have helped them at meetings to discuss the immediate future of the centre as well as in talks with prospective providers.

“We wish the Droitwich Spa Meeting Centre the best of luck in its new chapter.”

The Droitwich Spa Centre is open from 10am to 4pm on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Droitwich Spa Rugby Club.

Contact Coun Alan Humphries on alanhumphries550@gmail.com for more information on how to donate and volunteer.

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