A NEW service which will provide support for around 3,000 people living with mild to moderate dementia in the county will open in Leominster on February 1.

The new Meeting Centre – the second to open in the UK – is based on a successful Dutch model of dementia support and will also offer support for carers.

Based at the Leominster multi-agency building on Coningsby Road, the Meeting Centre will provide personalised support, activities and services, and monthly information sessions which will be open to the public.

Ginnie Jaques, services manager for Alzheimer’s Society in Herefordshire, said: "We are delighted that the Meeting Centre is coming to fruition after many months of planning.

“It is such an exciting project which we hope will have a positive impact on the whole community in terms of offering a support service to people living with dementia whilst also providing a focus for Leominster to develop into a dementia friendly community."

The Meeting Centre is a joint-venture on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society, Herefordshire Council and the University of Worcester.

It is part of a European-funded research project (MEETINGDEM) to adapt, implement, and evaluate the Dutch model of support in Italy, Poland and the UK.

In the UK, Alzheimer’s Society and the University of Worcester are working in partnership to plan, deliver and evaluate the service in Droitwich Spa and Leominster.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "I am pleased that Herefordshire is due to benefit from such a worthwhile venture; one which has the potential to support and improve the wellbeing of those with a diagnosis of dementia and their families.

“The Meeting Centre is a promising, innovative example of good practice where health and social care organisations alongside volunteers will work together to provide comprehensive, cost effective and easy to access support; enabling those with dementia to live longer independently with a better quality of life.”

There are still places available for people living with dementia and carers to attend the Meeting Centre service.

Anyone interested in hearing more should contact Debbie Powney by emailing deborah.powney@alzheimers.org.uk or calling 01432 371137.

For information on local services and support currently delivered by Alzheimer’s Society in the county, email Herefordshire@alzheimers.org.uk or call 01432 371 137.