Information the key at the first East Hampshire Dementia Festival

Tuesday, 28 May, 2019

Hundreds headed to Petersfield last week to take part in the first East Hampshire Dementia Festival.

The event, held on Friday 24 May, was an opportunity for people living with dementia or caring for people with the condition to find out what help and support is available to them.

Petersfield Festival Hall was filled with friendly faces from organisations across the district dedicated to helping those with dementia.

Around 300 visitors picked up legal and medical advice, received practical guidance or spoke to charities and healthcare services.

The Rose Room was transformed into a Memory Café with a two-piece band playing a few classic numbers as the café and coffee was served.

In the hall’s green room presentations were given from solicitors MacDonald Oates about setting straight legal affairs, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire spoke about how to support carers and Hampshire Fire and Rescue talked on how to keep safe and well at home.

East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, a passionate advocate of dementia work, held a session on how to be ‘Dementia Friendly’ while refreshments and activities were also available at the Vintage Tea Rooms.

Jeff Williams, a Dementia Friends Champion, organised the event with East Hampshire District Council and was delighted with how it went.

“This is hopefully the first of many information days we will have on dementia,” he said. “We are currently living in the dark ages of dementia, people don’t really know much about the condition or what they can do or where they can go for support.

“Information is the key thing when living with dementia and we’re trying to move it into the 21st Century. Events like the East Hampshire Dementia Festival really help us to do that.”

Cllr Julie Butler, EHDC Deputy Leader, said: “This festival is so important, it’s about linking the local organisations that work with people with dementia, it’s about how families can get more support and about how people can receive training in how to be ‘Dementia Friendly’.

“I am so impressed with how the day went and I want to thank Jeff for his vision and everyone that came along to make the event such a success.”