A DEMENTIA well-being group wants to reinstate the importance of communities and societies becoming 'dementia friendly'.

The Dementia Friendly Tynedale organisation was formed in 2018 to create and support 'Dementia Friendly Communities' across Tynedale.

Co-ordinator of the group, Adele Kinsella, of Hexham, said: "We are working together to raise awareness and increase understanding of dementia, and make services more accessible.

"We set the group up to encourage organisations, individuals and businesses across Tynedale to become more dementia friendly ­— providing support for them to do so.

"Our aim is to ensure that people who are living with dementia and their loved ones, remain an active part of their community and keep doing the things they enjoy."

Adele added: “A Dementia Friendly Community is a city, town or village where people with dementia feel understood, valued and able to contribute to their community.”

The group has had support since 2018 from many businesses and hopes it continues.

Adele said: "We have support from Chrysalis Club Tynedale, Fairnington Centre, Forum Cinema, Hexham Town Council, Hexham Community Centre, Hextol Foundation, Northumberland Libraries and Locality Coordinator for West Northumberland are also on board.

"Our future plans are to invite more individuals to become Dementia Friends and deliver ongoing Dementia Friends information sessions, either as a private or public event (face-to-face or online).

"The sessions are free, last about 45 minutes and provide an opportunity to learn a bit more about dementia, and how small but practical actions can make a huge difference to those living with dementia.

"From 2022, we aim to meet monthly or bimonthly at the Beaumont Hotel, which kindly provides a meeting space and refreshments to support us."

The organisation is also planning numerous events to make up for the setbacks from the past two years.

Adele said: "This year we plan to host a stand at the Hexham Christmas Market on Saturday, December 11. Information will be available about activities and support in our area and how to become a Dementia Friend or Dementia Friendly organisation. Additionally in 2022 we plan to host a stand at the Hexham Spring Fair and Northumberland County Show."