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Burgess Hill Dementia Action Alliance

Background

In May 2014 Burgess Hill Dementia Friendly Committee Sponsor Group (Burgess Hill DFSP) was launched with an aim to encourage people to become partners of a Dementia Friendly Community in Burgess Hill and the surrounding villages.

In June 2015 a successful Virtual Dementia Tour Conference was attended by over 100 residents, plus representatives from councils, nursing homes and local businesses.

This initiative led to Rachel Beckett, employed by Brighton & Hove Coaches (to train staff in Dementia Awareness) providing dementia awareness sessions at the town’s main supermarkets, Tesco & Waitrose. District and Town Council staff have also participated in these free sessions.

Aims

The Burgess Hill Dementia Action Alliance aims to support the communities, businesses and individuals living in the area in becoming Dementia Friendly, being better prepared and equipped to support those living with Dementia, and raise general awareness across our region of the condition and how to support those affected by it.

The Alliance will work closely with other Alliances in the Mid Sussex District to support those in their area to live well with Dementia. Surrounding villages will also be incorporated into the Alliance and all will benefit from the sharing of best practice and ideas.

The Alliance will aim to raise awareness through Dementia Friends Sessions, community and business events and general discussion of the needs of those living with Dementia and their loved ones to best continue playing a full and fulfilling part in their community. At the heart of the Alliance will be those living with Dementia, and their loved ones, and the Alliance will commit to consulting with them at every opportunity.

Chairperson

Anne Jones MBE

History

The Burgess Hill DF Committee have created three Safe Havens across the town, located at The Martletts Shopping Centre, Burgess Hill Town Council Help Point and the Library. A quiet place for people affected by dementia to receive help and assistance whilst visiting the town. For example help with orientation, transport information or locating a mislaid person or belongings.

The committee was formed as her chosen charity by the Mayor of Burgess Hill, Councillor Anne Jones MBE.  The committee has continued to move things forward and focusing on challenging stigma, ensuring early diagnosis and providing practical support for people/carers affected by dementia.

Members of the committee include representatives from Mid Sussex District Council and Burgess Hill Town Council, Local Churches; Sheddingdean Baptist & St Edward’s the Confessor, and Burgess Hill United Reform Church. Plus Members of Lions and Rotary Clubs, and Metrobus.

Local Councillor Colin Holden has become a Dementia Friends Champion and holds dementia friends sessions for the local community.

We continue to work closely with the Stroke Club and Parkinson Clubs with the aim of making life easier for all vulnerable residents. The committee is focusing on developing a Dementia Friendly Café at St Edward’s Church and the United Reform Church are in discussions to establish more cafes in the town and surrounding villages.

Achievements

May 2016 – Dementia Awareness Week

  • Vintage Routemaster stand held in the town centre to promote memories (courtesy of Brighton & Hove Coaches
  • Held a coffee morning on the Saturday of Dementia Awareness Week 2016 alongside the Stroke Association

June 2015

  • Held a successful Virtual Dementia Tour Conference for representatives of the town

Meetings

Quarterly meetings of the Steering Group currently held

How to Join

Make contact with Rachel Beckett – Rachelhbeckett@gmail.com to join the Burgess Hill Dementia Action Alliance