£819k grant bid for dementia

Crawley could become a dementia friendly town if it is awarded a £819,000 grant this week.

Care and volunteer groups are hoping the bid made by Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is successful.

The money would go to various non-clinical organisations which will support dementia sufferers in the community.

The groups include the Crawley Neighbourhood Dementia Alliance, Dementia Friendly Crawley, the Dementia Innovation Fund and buddy schemes to recruit volunteers to help people with their everyday lives.

The bid has been made to the Strategic Health Authority for the South East and is part of a £10m pot of funding.

Dr Amit Bhargava, chair of the Crawley CCG, said: “The Crawley Dementia Alliance, which is made up of various groups, have been working together to normalise the care of people with dementia so that we can support people with early and moderate memory problems in the community and allow them to live full lives.”

Cllr Brenda Smith (Lab, Langley Green) who stood down as Crawley Labour Group leader after her husband Jim was diagnosed with dementia, welcomed the bid.

She said: “People still feel awkward and embarrassed about dementia, not just the sufferers. There’s been a lot of work in the past year to raise awareness and there’s a lot of work to be done. Crawley is still not where it should be in my opinion in respect of services and help for families of sufferers.”