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Wareham. Dementia Friendly Purbeck, A Dementia Friendly Community


Memory Cafe pin Mistover Road, Carey Wareham, BH20 4BH, United Kingdom 1st and 3rd Mondays start at 10.30 to 12.00 A coffee morning for people with dementia and their carers and friends. Coffee, cakes and company.

Dementia Friendly Purbeck invites you to 

 Age UK,s

Melodies for Memories at the URC Church, Church Rd Wareham Dorset BH20 4HH every 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month.

If you like singing and are over 50 come and join us. It's for anybody if you are living with dementia, or just like to singing. Everyone is welcome.



In 2015 at a Dementia Awareness presentation at a Lions Zone Meeting attended by members of Wareham Lions Club. Two members from the club where shocked by the prevalence of dementia in the community and felt that a Dementia Friendly Community was needed in the Wareham and Purbeck area. Having secured the support of all the club members of Wareham Lions club and with the support of Wareham Rotary Club, Wareham, Town Council and local carers groups.  A public meeting was held and at that meeting, it was decided a dementia-friendly steering group was needed. Members of Wareham Lions club agreed to coordinate work to establish a dementia community in Wareham

A steering group was established to take the project forward. This included representative from the Wareham Rotary Club, Wareham Town Council and local carers groups. In 2016 the Wareham & District Dementia Friendly Community was formed and accepted by Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust as a member as a project and is now a charity (Registered Charity no 1162662).

Later at the 2017 A.G.M., it was decided to change the steering group name from Wareham & District Dementia Friendly Community to Dementia Friendly Purbeck.




To address the key priorities that have been identified at a National level, that need to be met at a local level.

  • To raise awareness and understanding of Dementia in the Wareham and the Purbeck District.
  • Sharing best practice and understanding.
  • To create a safe and non-stigmatising community where people with dementia can live well.
  • To create an environment where the carer and person with dementia can seek appropriate help and support.
  • To raise funds to support an Admiral Nurse within the Purbeck area.
  • Action at a local level.
  • Sign up to National Dementia Declaration.
  • Create Dementia Friendly Communities.

Our overall aim is to address as many of the barriers that people with dementia may face when out and about in Wareham. From the work that was done nationally 47% of people identified that they no longer felt part of their local community and we would certainly aim to improve that in Wareham and the Purbeck. As Wareham and the Purbeck is a very popular tourist destination we aim to improve this for both local residents and those who would choose to have a holiday in the area.


Lorraine Puckett


The initial Steering group decided to adopt the name ‘Wareham & District Dementia Friendly Community’ in 2017 was renamed as Dementia Friendly Purbeck Community and Has Joined the Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust becoming a registered charity. But still, has kept the name Wareham & District Dementia Friendly Community as a project name.


Past Chairmans Report for 2017/18

Raising Awareness

I’ve asked myself ‘Has Dementia Friendly Purbeck made a difference in the last year?’ and, ‘Do we help?’

Well, the answers are of course - “Yes.” When our Steering group was first formed 3 years ago, it was hard to get information if you or your loved one were living with dementia. The information and help were there but it was hard to find. By putting together a leaflet with phone numbers, web pages, and help groups, and where to find help, we have tried to collate information in one place to make it more accessible. There is more work to do, but we have made a start.


The dementia friendly awareness sessions that we’ve organized for the public, the presentations and talks on dementia that we’ve given, have also helped.

With sponsorship from Purbeck District Council, we started the ‘Use Our Loo Scheme’ in Wareham. In cooperation with Dorset Police and the Alzheimer’s Society, we have helped to establish the Safe Haven initiative locally. We have worked with the Town Council to develop a plan to help them become dementia friendly. The plans have been approved and will now be implemented by the town Clark.

With the aim of raising awareness in local businesses, we purchased and delivered the Alzheimer’s booklet for customer-facing staff to shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels in Wareham and the surrounding Purbeck area.

The events season provided further opportunities to raise awareness. We had a stand at the Wareham Carnival, the Purbeck Rally, the Friends of Wareham Hospital Fete, a Family Fun Day at the recreation ground and the Alzheimer's Society's Memory walk at Bere Regis. We have also regularly displayed our information board in the Nationwide Building Society and Humphries Kirk (solicitors) window in North Street. Drawing on our experience of attending events we are putting together resources so we are better equipped to carry on the program next year.

Our Facebook page is well received and now has at least 110 followers. Facebook enables us to circulate information and news quickly. We are also setting up our own website and this is now being put together. To date, we have relied on a number of domain names that redirect searchers to our Facebook and the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust website but we feel it’s now time to have our own website. We are also considering publishing a newsletter next year.

Let me emphasize the importance of Dementia Awareness:

1.  A better understanding of dementia in the community will help and encourage people living with dementia to go out, enhance their lives and reduce the risks of them becoming isolated.

2.   Better knowledge of dementia might encourage more people to seek an earlier diagnosis. 

Support for carers

We know that there is only one end road for people living with dementia, but that doesn’t have to be a dark road. With the help of family, friends and the community it can be an easier road and that is where I believe Dementia Friendly Purbeck has made a difference.

Here are some of the things we are doing. We have set up a small grant scheme to offer support for carers although it has not attracted many applicants we will continue with the scheme. We encouraged and supported the Rex Cinema to run dementia friendly screenings but the take up was low and they have now been suspended. Accessibility was an issue so Cllr Carol Turner (the current Mayor and a member of our group) decided to raise money to buy a projector to enable films to be shown in the Wareham Parish Hall and took this project as her Charity for her year in office. When in place this will resolve the accessibility issues and we will continue to support her initiative.

Wareham benefits from having a dementia day centre (Tricuro - Wareham Plus) a Memory Café (Alzheimer’s Society) and Melody’s for Memories (Age UK). We have worked with them all to provide support and in some cases, to fund equipment.

Humphries Kirk offered free wills to people working with our group and this was well received.

Rachel Murray, the Admiral Nurse organized a six week series of workshops at the Sandford Heritage Centre for carers. We supported this initiative by looking after their loved ones in Pine Martin Grange so they did not have to worry about their wellbeing. We also bought and supplied copies of ‘Dementia and the Family’ (a booklet that details of activities and guidance for families and carers) to the carers attending the workshops.

Future Projects

In addition to the comments above, we will continue with our current initiatives and consider setting up a project to purchase a Magic Table, an interactive resource for group sessions. Wimborne Dementia Friendly Community and PramaLIFE have purchased one for their area and we are keen to take a group from the Memory Cafe to assess its benefits or get them to bring it to Wareham. The costs are not insignificant, they raised £10k to purchase, insure, maintain and hold some contingency reserve.

Following discussions with Rachel Johnstone, Dementia UK we are waiting to see how the Admiral Nurse post can be maintained, expanded or supported. This would require commitment from Dementia UK and Dorset Health Care; the former providing training and support, the latter being the employer of the post holder. I’m hopeful that viable option will become clearer in the New Year and then we will respond accordingly and start fundraising if appropriate. Raising money for the current post was a joint initiative with Swanage Dementia Friendly Community and I would envisage working together with them again.

We are helping to fund a Christmas party for the Memory Café and are talking to the Wareham Bestwall Allotment Committee about having an allotment in the future. As I have mentioned we are building a website for the purpose to be the first stop on the internet for people looking for information on dementia in the Purbeck area.


At this point, I would like to say a heartfelt thanks to everybody on the DFP Steering group for all their hard work and support throughout the year, and a special thank you to Eileen Cowshall, Sue McWilliams and Chris Auburn who have decided to retire from our steering group. These three have been invaluable in starting and building Dementia Friendly Purbeck. They have made a difference.

I would also like to thank the Town Council for their support, also Pine Martin Grange, Wareham Lions, Wareham Rotary, Wareham 41 Club, Purbeck Rally and many others who have supported us and have donated to our cause over this year.

My thanks also go to Eileen and Pat who have knitted and crocheted ‘For-get-me-not’ pins which have been offered for donations and raised money for the group. I’d also like to thank Marilyn who saw the potential in ‘For-get-me-not’ bird feeders and sourced a large number from a garden centre which has been sold at a profit for the benefit of the group.

And finally, I have been Chairman now since the beginning and I think it is now time for a change, so I will not be putting myself forward for election this year but I’m keen to stay on as an active member of the group. I am immensely proud of what the Steering group has achieved in the three years that I have been Chairman. I would like to thank members for their hard work that has helped to establish and build Dementia Friendly Purbeck, and for the help and support they have given to me, and I certainly needed it. I would like to give my best wishes to the new Chair for the future.

Tim Lench


We are now meeting once a month, times of meetings can be asked for at info@dementiafriendlypurbeck.org

How to join the LDAA

Complete the Local Dementia Action Alliance Registration Form or contact Timothy A Lench at timlench@dementiafrendlypurbeck.org