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Creating a safe space for those living with dementia and their carers

Berrigan Shire morning tea for those living with dementia and their carers (Gwenda on the left in the back)

Having a safe space to come together and share your journey in a non-judgemental environment is something we all need. One such initiative is the morning tea meetup by the Berrigan Shire Dementia Inclusive Community.

Berrigan Shire morning tea for those living with dementia and their carers (Gwenda on the left in the back)

The Community has received a 2022 Mable Community Grant for $3,000 to enhance a unique project providing people living with all types of dementia and their carers a safe space to come together and share their journeys in a non-judgemental environment.

Gwenda Darling, who lives with younger onset dementia, said the grant would allow the group to meet fortnightly and make room for more people living with dementia and their carers to meet together as an inclusive community group.

“For most people, having a sense of belonging to their community is very important, and this is not diminished for a person with dementia. On the contrary, the routine and enjoyment of connecting with others can be essential in keeping people’s minds alert and active.

“Through our morning teas, we are providing the opportunity for people living with various types of dementia to mix and socialise, avoiding social exclusion, in an accepting environment,” Gwenda said.

The inclusive community group has members with younger-onset dementia and other types of dementia. Participants are aged between 68 and 91. With the financial support from the Mable Community Grant, it is expected that an additional 20 people will be able to attend the morning tea. 

“The Mable Community Grant will enhance the quality of life of those living in the community, help their mental health and reduce social isolation.

“Our group includes people from all walks of life with varied work history, hobbies, recreational and social interests. Some are well travelled, and most have experienced significant life events making the conversation at our morning teas enthralling as we leave our troubles at the door and come together to share and find support,” Gwenda said.

Mable CEO Peter Scutt said he was thoroughly impressed by the Berrigan Shire Dementia Inclusive Community Group’s application and was upbeat about the impact that could be made within the local community through the Mable Community Grant.

“Our mission through the Mable Community Grants is to partner with like-minded changemakers who positively impact their community, such as the Berrigan Shire Dementia Inclusive Community Group.

“My favourite time of year at Mable is when we are handing out the Mable Community Grants. Giving back to those aligned with our purpose and achieving social inclusion in their local communities gives me great joy and the sense that we are on the right track with the work we deliver at Mable.

“At Mable, we are dedicated to breaking down the barriers for older Australians and people with disability to social and workforce participation. We advocate for a society that sees people of all ages, demographics, and abilities achieve whatever gives them a sense of purpose and belonging,” Peter said.

There is a group that meets fortnightly at the Country Club in Finley, and one that meets at the Murray Haven Village in Tocumwal. Anyone wanting information about joining the group can call 0467 231 642. 

Learn more about Mable Community Grants.

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