THE boss of an award-winning dementia care provider has issued an appeal for help to find new premises in the Tyne Valley.

Dementia Matters, formerly known as Dementia Care, has been forced to close its day care centre in Hexham’s Haugh Lane, because the building it had leased for the past two years was no longer suitable.

However, the organisation’s chief executive Fraser Quin this week insisted there were plans to reinstate a similar service in Tynedale, to prevent some dementia sufferers in the most rural parts of the district facing up to an 80-mile round trip to access the nearest centre in Newcastle.

He said: “The property we were using wasn’t fit for purpose and didn’t meet environmental standards that we would like to see used for a day care facility for the elderly. We have been looking for accommodation in and around Hexham for the past two years, to be honest, but we haven’t found anywhere suitable. We thought we had with a centre in Prudhoe but that was dashed due to planning restrictions.

“So we’re back to square one and looking for new premises in the Tyne Valley and if any of your readers knows of anywhere suitable for day care for sale or to let then we would be really keen to open something again.”

Dementia Matters was named the best Alzheimer’s and dementia care provider in the North-East in 2017 and the Hexham day care centre, which ran between Monday and Friday, was opened by Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Inspector Morse and Lewis actor Kevin Whately.

While there are various other activities for dementia sufferers in the town, Melvyn Stone, the leading figure at the Tynedale Dementia Action Alliance, said the loss of the day centre was a big blow.

He said: “It’s paramount that services like this don’t go by-the-by. For people having to travel so far to receive the service, they just aren’t realistically going to do it, so the closure will have a big impact on people.”