ILKLEY residents will be able to gain information about dementia as part of the national Dementia Action Week which begins on Monday and runs until Saturday, May 23.

Dementia Friendly Ilkley Action (DFIA) committee will have a stand throughout the week at the Clarke Foley Centre offering leaflets and advice. The week will end with a Dementia Friend session at 2pm - a one hour free session for which booking is required.

Dementia Action Week is an initiative by the Alzheimer’s Society to improve the lives of people affected by dementia.

Ilkley Action has been working hard during lockdown to help those who are living with dementia and their carers in the town.

“We have had to be inventive to reach out to those with dementia as we know the restrictions have had a huge mental impact,” said Sally Chawner-Baxter chair of the committee.

Initiatives have included: Christmas activity bags with seasonal activities and puzzles;Easter activity boxes; the launch of a newsletter; Zoom Dementia Friends Awareness sessions and carers virtual meetings to offer support, advice and help.

“From small beginnings a few years ago we now have a very enthusiastic committee of volunteers who have helped roll out the initiatives,” added Sally. “However we are always looking for more, why not come and join us? We have always offered the Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions for free, but during the last year we have put in place more regular Zoom dates so people can just pop on. The newsletter has been our most recent initiative and we plan to produce one every other month.

“During the Dementia Action Week our stand will be at the Clarke Foley Centre. It will not be manned all the time, but people are welcome to take a leaflet. Anyone wanting further information can call us on 07936 446097 they can also visit our website for further information

The Activity bags and boxes as well as the newsletter have been funded by the Ilkley Town Council and the Covid Emergency fund. “We are most grateful for the funding which has enabled us to roll out this ambitious activity project throughout the town,” said Sally.

If you could volunteer in any way contact Sally on 07936 446097 for a chat.