A charity hub in Tangmere celebrated its first birthday on Wednesday with a special party.
Sage House, run by Dementia Support, officially turned a year old and invited users of the services and their families and carers to celebrate.
To mark the special anniversary, the charity launched a new £1 million appeal to help fund vital ‘Wayfinders’ to reduce loneliness, give the best quality care, provide hope and support for the whole family affected by dementia.
Every three minutes somebody will develop dementia. There are 15,000 people living with dementia in West Sussex, with 5,500 in the Post area, but currently the charity can reach only 10 per cent.
The Wayfinder Appeal has been launched to fund more personal advisors and life-changing dementia support services, to enable the charity to reach more families. As a local charity, Dementia Support relies on donations and the generosity of the public.
“A diagnosis of dementia is devastating for most people,” said Dementia Support chief executive Sally Tabner.
“At Dementia Support, we are here for people when they receive that news. We will help people living with dementia and their families throughout their dementia journey, and our Wayfinders are a crucial part of that journey. They provide essential guidance and emotional support in helping people to live well with dementia.”
During the birthday celebrations, a bake-off was held with Town Crier, Richard Plowman, and singer, Dawn Gracie, judging the competition.
Dawn said: “I love cake and it was a difficult decision to make but we were very impressed with the creativity.”
Cake number three, baked by Anne-Marie (daughter and carer of a user of the daybreaks service) won the competition, a rainbow sponge cake with forget-me-not decorations.
Dawn described her love for singing as something she didn’t feel: “I started my vintage entertaining in 2012 and when I began singing in nursing homes at a friend’s request and although my business has developed, all these years I still sing in care homes.
“I became a dementia friend and because I sing 50s and 60s it’s a natural place to be because musical memory is so important.
“I get the sadness and the pleasure all at once to see people who are living with dementia coming alive with music. It can be very complex.
“My job as an entertainer is to be in that moment and give that person the pleasure for just that time. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it.”
Mr Plowman said: “Sage House is a truly amazing building. It’s unique in all of the country and the way in which it can deal with the whole range of things. You can come in here, be assessed and use the wonderful facilities, it is just amazing.
“I am so pleased to be involved with it and we have had such fun today, especially with Dawn and judging the cakes!”
To help Dementia Support raise the £1 million so urgently needed for this unique, local and essential charity, contact them on: 01243 888691 or visit: dementia-support.org.uk/appeal to make a donation to the appeal today.