A ‘GROUND-breaking’ organisation that helps those living with Dementia and their families, will start hosting a weekly community group next month in Bicester.

Not-for-profit company, Dementia Active, is holding activity sessions tailored around members' ability levels and interest.

People can play games, do puzzles, sing and create crafts at the meet-ups every Tuesday at Kingsmere Community Centre from December 10.

Unlike many day-care services which care in large groups, Dementia Active groups are small with a maximum of ten members and a high staffing ratio.

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Andy Gill, founder of Dementia Active, said: “Dementia is an illness that isolates people from friends who do not understand and who may well fear it in their own lives. It can also create a feeling of separation even from their own loved ones.

“The value of spending time with others who can share this sense of isolation cannot be overestimated.

"There is a sense of community where no one need feel apologetic or uncomfortable about not being able to do those things which in the past would have been straightforward.”

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Dementia Active says depression and isolation is common even for those with supportive families and that carers can also end up feeling isolated as friends desert them as a result of their uncertainty about how to relate to their former friends.

Dementia Active aims to help carers maintain their social contacts by creating a block of free time for carers.

It uses the only non-drug treatment recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) called Cognitive Simulation Techniques.

Mr Gill, whose wife was diagnosed with a rare form of vascular dementia when she was 39, added: "This is becoming increasingly popular as a way of helping alleviate some of the symptoms of mild to moderate dementia. Activities are based around a particular theme and are designed to improve cognitive ability and memory, for instance: quizzes, gentle exercise, music and singing, reminiscence, art, craft activities, puzzles, coordination games and playing cards.”

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Dementia Active sessions range from £22 to £35 depending on the length and location.

The sessions at Kingsmere will run from 11.45am to 3.45pm.

Mr Gill added:“We are absolutely delighted to have been invited to be part of a really exciting community initiative at the Kingsmere Community Centre. It is run by a team of committed and enthusiastic local people whose goal is to make Bicester a great place to live for everyone, whatever their level of need.”

Kingsmere Community Centre opened in September 2018 and has since been used by a variety of community groups in Bicester such as mental health support group, Nai's House.

Ellie Gordon, a director of the Centre, said: “As a relatively new community resource, our mission here is to be at the very heart of the community and accessible to all, so being dementia and carer friendly is an absolute priority for us.

"The Centre Cafe at Kingsmere is dedicated to being a comfortable space for all. "