Series of events helps to raise awareness of dementia

Bury St Edmunds Round Table were joined by Mayor, Cllr Terry Clements at the fund-raising day.
Bury St Edmunds Round Table were joined by Mayor, Cllr Terry Clements at the fund-raising day.
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Staff at a dementia hub have been delighted by the town’s first series of events in support of Dementia Awareness Week.

The Gatehouse charity, in Bury St Edmunds, helped bring the events together, including the first ever dementia conference.

Nowton Court Village The Dementia Action Alliance Group conference.
Guest speaker Chris Roberts with his wife Jayne Goodrick, Nigel George DAA, Lorraine Clarke Clarke Care, Maggie Woodhouse DAA rep West Suffolk Hospital.
Picture Mark Westley

Nowton Court Village The Dementia Action Alliance Group conference. Guest speaker Chris Roberts with his wife Jayne Goodrick, Nigel George DAA, Lorraine Clarke Clarke Care, Maggie Woodhouse DAA rep West Suffolk Hospital. Picture Mark Westley

Around 80 people attended the dementia conference, at Nowton Court Village, on Wednesday.

It was hosted by the Bury St Edmunds Dementia Action Alliance Group, which links a number of supporting groups and organisations.

The guest speaker was Chris Roberts and his wife Jayne Goodrick.

Chris was diagnosed with dementia when he was 51 and has also featured in a Panorama documentary talking about the condition.

“He spoke for over an hour and it was very moving. I had tears in my eyes at the end,” said Elaine Channen, Dementia Hub facilitator.

“Chris told the story of how when he was diagnosed, he and his wife went to the hospital as man and wife and came away, as husband and carer.

“There were lots of carers there and it touched many of them.”

The town’s Dementia Awreness week kicked off on Monday with a special dementia-friendly screening of Grease at Abbeygate Cinema.

Around 40 people, some living with dementia, their carers family and friends attended, with many dancing in the aisles.

On Tuesday, there was music and dancing at The Gatehouse Dementia Hub with Carlton Carl playing his ‘squeezebox’.

The charity opened its doors again on Thursday before a fund-raising event at Tesco Store on St Saviours Interchange on Saturday.

The event saw Bury St Edmunds Round Table ride a static bike for 200 miles, and Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Cllr Terry Clements, ride another 12 miles, to raise money.

The day raised £755, with the Round Table pledging another £500.