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Free gift packs delivered with care

Working with Congleton Police, Dementia Friendly Congleton developed a project to source, pack and distribute complimentary gift packs to Congleton people with dementia who are living in their own homes. They were determined to make a difference in the community despite group activities being suspended during Lockdown.

The packs were assembled at Congleton Police station during Dementia Action Week 17-23 May 2021. The station was filled with donations ready for a small team of volunteers to pick and pack. The packs consist of games and activities, mainly sourced from the Alzheimer’s Society, all designed to stimulate memories of earlier times. The packs also contain information about Dementia Friendly Congleton and other local community groups. Donations will also be made to care homes to augment their activities.

Over 50 gift packs were hand delivered to homes across the town this week by Congleton Lions and the Community Police. The parcels have been gratefully received by recipients and family alike:

“The wool is a great gift. My mum loves knitting. This will keep her happy and occupied for weeks.”

“Thank you so much for creative scenes (the magnetic jigsaw puzzle). As my husband can no longer manage jigsaw pieces, this is a great idea.”

Diane Ritherdon, Chair of Dementia Friendly Congleton said: “The whole reason we started the project is to bring individuals and their loved ones a little happiness and comfort at a difficult time. It is more important than ever for us to continue to deliver our free support packs to those affected by dementia in our community. We have been overwhelmed with the kind messages of thanks. A lending/exchange scheme is in the process of being developed for activities and games in good condition and we look forward to re-starting face to face activities later in the year.

The project is possible thanks to funding from Plus Dane Housing, Congleton Rotary, Congleton Town Trust and Congleton Lions and £1000 match funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner. As well as financial donations gifts have been received from Tesco, Morrison’s and Congleton Museum.                       

John Dwyer, Cheshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner said: “Whilst this funding was awarded by my predecessor, I recognise the valuable work that has taken place to produce these fantastic gift packs that will ensure those with dementia in our communities have something positive to do. 

As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I am committed to protecting vulnerable Cheshire residents, particularly those with dementia. I am supportive of the Herbert Protocol, Cheshire Constabulary’s scheme to raise awareness of the effects of dementia and protect those living in Cheshire to remain safe and well.”

It is not to late to register for a pack. Anyone living with dementia, or who is a carer or family member of someone who is, can call Diane Ritherdon on 07770 724932 to register. For further information on Dementia Friendly Congleton see Discover Congleton/Dementia Friendly Congleton pages at: Dementia Friendly Congleton – Congleton Town Council

Sources of support:

  • Dementia Friendly Congleton, Diane Ritherdon. Mob: 07770 724932
  • Cheshire East Carers’ Hub for carers. Lots of useful contacts and resources.
  • Tel: 0300 303 0208. Web: www.cheshireeastcarershub.co.uk
  • Alzheimer’s Society for help and advice on all types of dementia. Tel: 0300 222 1122. Web: www.alzheimers.org.uk

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