A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.
Are you interested in learning more about dementia and how we can make our community more dementia friendly? Great Torrington’s Dementia Friendly Community working group is hosting a Dementia Awareness session on Wednesday 17th May 2023 from 1-2pm in the Undercroft at the Town Hall.
The Alzheimer’s Society has written a blog article about the cost-of-living crisis and specifically how they might be able to help people living with dementia and their carers during this time. Click here to read more.
The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect support line advisors are available for anyone who needs help and support – whether living with dementia or supporting someone who is. The support line can be contacted on: 0333 150 3456.
This year’s theme is #KnowDementia #KnowAlzheimers. The Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging everyone to know the signs and symptoms of dementia so they can get the right diagnosis and support as quickly as possible.
Click here to find out more about signs and symptoms.
Great Torrington’s Dementia Friendly Community working group is funding a FREE screening of The Father at The Plough at 11am on Wednesday 21st September 2022 to coincide with World Alzheimer’s Day. You can now book your tickets for this in advance, even though tickets are FREE, so you can have your favourite seat in the cinema and The Plough will know how many people to expect in advance.
In order to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, the Great Torrington Dementia Friendly Community working group is pleased to announce that a FREE showing of the film The Father, with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman will take place at The Plough Arts Centre on Wednesday 21st September 2022 at 11am.
The film highlights the challenges of family members assuming a caring role for people living with dementia. It focusses on ailing octogenarian Anthony, who is gradually succumbing to dementia and feels abandoned when his daughter, Anne, tells him she’s moving to Paris. Confused and upset, against the backdrop of a warped perspective and his rapid, heart-rending mental decline, Anthony is starting to lose his grip on reality, struggling to navigate the opaque landscape of present and past.
Tickets are FREE for this event: you can contact The Plough Box Office on 01805 624624 in advance to reserve a seat, or just turn up on the day.
The Town Council’s Dementia Friendly Community working group was established back in 2018 and has been busy since then raising awareness about dementia and memory loss within the local community in Great Torrington. The group gets involved in a variety of activities including running Dementia Friends sessions, launching a Silent Space in the town centre where people living with dementia and their carers can get some respite from the hustle and bustle of a busy town, organising a free film screening at The Plough of a film raising awareness about dementia and much, much more!
If you are interested in helping the group out to achieve the important goal of making Great Torrington a Dementia Friendly Community, please do get in touch: we are particularly keen to engage with people who have experience of either working with, or caring for, people living with dementia or memory loss and who are eager to get stuck-in with the practical side of raising awareness throughout the town.
For more information, please call or email Charlotte Kirby, Assistant Town Clerk on 01805 626135 / email@example.com or feel free to pop into the Town Council’s office for an informal chat. We are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 1pm.
Great Torrington Town Council’s Dementia Friendly Community working group has been working with the national Silent Space project (https://silentspace.org.uk/) and the Great Torrington and District Community Development Trust to create a Silent Space in Great Torrington. This is a national project to create areas where people can find peace and tranquillity in natural settings, to switch off from technology, avoid talking loudly or be silent and enjoy nature.
The new Silent Space is located in the Secret Memorial Garden behind the Castle Hill building in Sydney House car park. The Secret Memorial Garden is a magical space in Great Torrington tucked away behind the town centre shops and main car park. It was created in 2002 from an original design by Jo Winterburn as a memorial to five young boys, evacuees of the Second World War, who tragically lost their lives in a fire close by at Sydney House. In the centre of the garden is a bronze statue of a boy reading a book; a touching tribute to the boys who lost their lives. There is a central knot garden containing herbs such as marjoram, cotton lavender, sage and thyme, all planted in compartments between low box hedging. Benches are scattered through the garden so that visitors can relax and appreciate this special oasis in the middle of the town centre.
The garden willbe designated a Silent Space on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between the hours of 1:30 and 3:30pm each week. The Dementia Friendly Community working group hopes that by designating the Secret Memorial Garden as a Silent Space on these days, people living with dementia and their carers will find respite from the busy world we live in.
Great Torrington’s Dementia Friendly Community working group were delighted to be able to launch Great Torrington’s Silent Space on Tuesday 26th October 2021 in the Secret Memorial Garden behind the Castle Hill building in Sydney House Car Park.
The Silent Space Project is a national initiative to create areas where people can find peace and tranquillity in natural settings, to switch off from technology, avoid talking loudly or be silent and enjoy nature: https://silentspace.org.uk/ . The idea for a Dementia Friendly Silent Space was put forward by Chris Porter, one of the founding members of the Dementia Friendly Community working group following a similar project her daughter worked on as part of her PhD. Chris and the working group thought having a Silent Space specifically for people living with dementia would be a great asset to the town as it works towards becoming dementia friendly. Very sadly Chris passed away suddenly last year so the work she did initially with this this project was put on hold temporarily and was recently completed by the Dementia Friendly Community working group.
At the launch the Chair of the working group, Cllr Di Davey, welcomed Liz Ware, Founder of the Silent Space Project, Cllr Doug Smith, Mayor of Great Torrington and Colin Porter, Chris’s husband who helped the Mayor unveil the new signage for the space. The garden will be designated a Silent Space on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons between the hours of 1:30 and 3:30pm each week.
The working group would like to thank everyone involved with making this launch possible, including the Torrington and District Community Development Trust who have kindly allowed us to use the Secret Memorial Garden for the Silent Space, their volunteers who maintain the garden so beautifully and Roger Davies for creating the new sign. The Dementia Friendly Community working group hopes that by designating the Secret Memorial Garden as a Silent Space on specific days, people living with dementia and their carers will find respite from the busy world we live in.
Introduction This information pack has been developed to help those in Great Torrington and the surrounding area living with dementia and memory loss and their carers. It is part of the town’s ambition to become recognised as a dementia friendly community. The pack has been developed in partnership with local shops and organisations, the town council, The Friends of the Great Torrington Library and people attending the Memory Cafe. It provides:
Information on local services
Details of resources available locally to help you live better with dementia and
Information on shops and organisations who provide a supportive and caring place
to visit and can offer times to shop or visit at quieter times
Suggestions of ways in which you can make life easier for yourself or those you
Who is it for? If you are living with dementia or memory loss from other causes or if you are caring for someone living with these conditions, we hope that the information in this pack will make it easier to manage your life in Great Torrington. What is a dementia friendly community? In a dementia friendly community people have an understanding of the help people living with dementia need, particularly the need for patience, understanding and calmness. Shops and local organisations agree to support those living with dementia by treating them with respect and kindness. In this pack there will be information about the quietest time to visit shops and places in the town including the special support that local businesses can offer. How will I know that they will be friendly and supportive? Look for the Forget Me Not symbol. (The Forget Me Not symbol is on the first page). Shops and organisations who are part of the dementia friendly community will display it so you can expect:
To be treated respectfully
To be given time to explain what you want
To be given time to buy what you want
o be helped if you forget what you want to buy or do
Best time to visit the shops You will probably have a favourite time to shop but talking to local shop keepers it seems that it is generally quieter in the afternoon. However, the time between 3 pm and 4.30 pm can be busy on weekdays as the schools finish and children make their way home. Saturday afternoons can be quiet and so a good time to visit if you prefer shopping when it is less busy.
Parking Remember that parking in Sydney House Car Park off South Street is free from 12 noon on Saturdays until 8:00 am on Mondays.