By Debbie le Quesne

Dudley’s traders now help in dementia battle

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Shops in Dudley and Halesowen are being asked to sign up to become a safe place to visit for people in the borough with dementia.

It’s a great initiative and makes me feel proud of the area in which I live. With its Dementia Gateways, the region has become a benchmark for work in the community for those suffering with the memory-loss condition.

The move comes as £1.6m is being invested in revamping two day centres. Brettell Lane Centre, Stourbridge, and Halesowen’s Bret Young Centre are both getting facelifts as ‘Gateways’ which provide practical help and advice.

Gateway staff are targeting shopkeepers and explaining how they can help provide safe reference points for sufferers. A safe place logo will be given to those who sign up for the scheme.

Some 3,850 people in the borough are affected by the disease.

Dementia gateways have been developed in the area since 2011 and are truly wonderful access points for people diagnosed with the condition and for those who help care for them

Isolation, depression, exclusion and frustration are all symptoms of this terrible disease and I applaud any initiative to ease them. Dudley borough may not bee the most scenic place, but its people generally are the salt of the earth.

Councillor David Branwood, cabinet member for adult and community services, was quoted in the media as saying: “The recent visit to Halesowen was a great success and well received by the community, with people very happy to come on board.”

Big-hearted, kind, understanding . . . all I can say is a huge “thank you.”

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