Dementia group’s success

The FAB group pictured at their first event, pictured from left, ath Willbye, Jane Thorpe, Teresa Tansley, Wendy Smith and  Monica Booth (seated).
The FAB group pictured at their first event, pictured from left, ath Willbye, Jane Thorpe, Teresa Tansley, Wendy Smith and Monica Booth (seated).
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A fledging support group for dementia sufferers and their carers in and around Chapel St Leonards has grown rapidly since its official opening last month and gained widespread community support.

The Fellows and Advocates for Brain Deterioration (FAB) group was created by former carer Teresa Tansley after she recognised the problem faced by many sufferers and their relatives in the village.

“We have been assisting carers and their loved ones in the local community and surrounding areas, offering support, someone to talk to, reminisce and for information and direction to other support services,” said Teresa.

Teresa and her volunteers, Wendy Smith, Kath Willbye and Larry Smith offer their support in a companionate and confidential manner at the Village Hall every Tuesday between 9am and noon.

“They donate their time, expertise, compassion and support to all that come through the doors with confidentiality - which is a vital aspect to the group ,” said Teresa.

In its few weeks of operation the group has already served dozens of members and received many kind offers of assistance from councillors, members and local residents.

District councillor Hazel Newcombe has offered funding through the Councillors Community Initiative scheme to help cover FAB’s rental costs and the parish council has also been supportive, Teresa says.

Chapel resident Charles Christopher has lent his support by organising a sponsored mile-long walk around the village on Sunday, August 25, with sponsorship forms available from the group.

Teresa says that FAB is hoping to raise further funds with tombola events and would like local businesses or community spirited villagers to donate possible prizes.

Despite working with more than 40 dementia sufferers and their carers in just three weeks of operation, Teresa believes there are far more who could benefit from FAB’s work, which she hopes this ongoing community support will help FAB to reach.

“Many of the people coming through the doors have been traumatised and in tears, describing what they have been through when they thought they’re alone - it’s really pulled on the volunteers’ heartstrings,” she said.

“And the people we’ve reached are by no means the full picture.”

To help or find out more contact FAB on 07972 132943.