Bekka Fuszard and Amy Turner-Ives become Chair and Secretary of Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone
  • 2nd Sep 2019
  • Article written by Amy Turner-Ives
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Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone is a community group made up of representatives from local businesses, organisations, charities and volunteers who are working together to make our community more dementia friendly.  Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone is part of the wider West Kent Dementia Action Group which covers Sevenoaks, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.


Bekka and Amy have been part of the Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone group for a few years now and are very excited to be taking on the roles.  


Bekka, as Chair, will be co-ordinating what’s going on in Maidstone, helping to maintain momentum and drive things forward.  She will support the others in the group as and when required and bring everyone together at the quarterly meetings.  She will also assist with the annual ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly Kent’ recognition symbol reviews, which is an initiative run by Kent County Council.


Amy, as Secretary, will be setting agendas, assisting with regular newsletters, taking notes and distributing information to others in the group. 


Bekka and Amy will together continue to manage the group’s social media pages (which they launched in September 2018) and provide Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Information Sessions to anyone wishing to increase their understanding of dementia.


Bekka says “I am very pleased to be taking on the Chair role at a time when there are so many dementia friendly initiatives currently happening, and in the pipeline, in Maidstone.  By working together to make places and services welcoming and accessible, Maidstone can become somewhere where those affected by dementia are able to keep on being part of the community and live well, despite the challenges dementia brings.”


Statistics indicate that there are 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK. It is predicted that 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that's one every three minutes!  1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia, but it’s important to remember that dementia is not just something that affects older people. There are over 42,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.[1]


You can find out more about dementia friendly events and projects in Maidstone by following ‘Building a Dementia Friendly Maidstone’ on Facebook and Twitter.