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Churches learn to be dementia-friendly in King’s Lynn 

With an increasingly elderly population across the UK, Churches Together in King’s Lynn are helping churches get equipped to become dementia-friendly, with a training meeting on November 6 featuring input from experienced professionals.

Andrew Frere-Smith from Imagine Norfolk Together has organised the Dementia Friendly Church meeting of Churches Together in King’s Lynn on Wednesday, November 6, 7.00pm-9pm.

Inspired by the Dementia Drop-In Café started by St Faith’s Church in Gaywood, King’s Lynn, Andrew is hoping to share and develop the learning that is coming out of that project. The Drop-In café which runs every Wednesday afternoon at St Faith’s opened in May. With friendship and advice, it supports people who are living with dementia and their carers. Since opening, the number of clients has gradually increased to around 30.

At the AGM of Churches Together in King’s Lynn last month, Andrew shared his passion for the project. He said: “Every church in King’s Lynn has some elderly folk that need support. That’s not new. That’s always been the case. But there are more and more elderly people in church. The population is getting older. The need is growing and we have the opportunity to piggyback on the experience and what’s already happening at St Faith’s, and see whether we can use that in other congregations.”

The Churches Together meeting will be held at the London Road Methodist Church. Speakers will include Penny Mansfield who has led the Dementia Café at St Faith’s and others involved in providing professional services for those with dementia.

Talking about the joy of the Dementia Café Rev Julie Boyd of St Faith’s said: “One lady, who comes with her husband and finds it really helpful, said to me the other day, ‘what I love about this, is that not only is it every week, but you talk to my husband like he is a human being’. I thought ‘why wouldn’t you?’ But I guess she finds that people don’t always.”   

London Road Methodist Church, London Road, King’s Lynn, PE30 5PY

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