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New group will help Corby to be dementia-friendly

Isobel Mann, Wills, Trust & Probate Solicitor at Bray & Bray is spearheading the Corby Dementia Community Steering Group

Corby businesses can learn how to become more dementia friendly and inclusive thanks to  the support of a new steering group.

Launched last week, the Corby Dementia Community Steering Group is the brainchild of solicitor Isobel Mann, a wills, trusts and probate specialist at local law firm Bray & Bray.

Working with Isobel in the new group are representatives from Dementia UK, Corby Neighbourhood Policing, Northamptonshire Carers, The Core at Corby Cube, Made in Corby, Home Instead, Lakelands Hospice and Northamptonshire author, Cassandra Farren, who recently published her book ‘I’ve Lost My Mum’, which is an account of her journey with her mum’s dementia.

“The group has been created with the specific aim of enabling local people with dementia to live well in Corby and continue doing the everyday things that we take for granted,” explains Isobel, a specialist in elderly client law, regional director for Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) for the East Midlands region and a fully accredited member of STEP.

“According to the Alzheimer’s Society, two-thirds of people with dementia still live in the community and 10 percent of those go out less than once a month.

“Whilst there are several events in Corby about dementia and for people living with the disease, I believe more cohesion between them would really boost their benefit for the local community, and enable Corby to become a truly dementia-friendly community. So the idea of a steering group was born, and the Corby Dementia Community Steering Group quickly took shape and launched last week.”

Isobel hosted an event to mark the group’s official launch at Bray & Bray’s offices at the Corby Enterprise Centre, with representatives from the other local organisations already involved amongst the guests.

Isobel is keen for the group to continue to grow by bringing together as many local organisations as possible, as she explains: “A dementia-friendly community is classed as a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported, so I am hoping more local organisations will join the group so that together we can help Corby become a genuinely dementia-friendly community.

“Though there are services working to support people with dementia in Northamptonshire, much more needs to be done, particularly in Corby, to ensure everyone shares responsibility for ensuring that people with dementia feel valued and able to contribute to their community,” she says.

“With the right support and adjustments, many people with dementia can stay independent and continue to contribute to their community, as proved by the Channel 4 series, The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, which follows the UK’s first ever restaurant staffed by people living with dementia.”

Commenting on the group, Cassandra Farren said: “Having cared for my mum, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, I have seen first hand how challenging dementia can be. It is imperative that anyone who is living with dementia continues to feel supported, respected and understood.  I believe setting up dementia friendly communities will help towards achieving this.”

Isobel adds: “The private client team at Bray & Bray is passionate about supporting people living with dementia, with many of us being Dementia Friends or Dementia Champions. The steering group will enable us to further enhance and tailor our service offering to clients and families affected by dementia and enable us to signpost people to the right services where needed.”

The Group’s next meeting is at Bray & Bray’s offices, Corby Enterprise Centre on Wednesday 7 August.

“The event will be a chance for everyone to share what they are doing to be dementia-friendly, and offer some guidance on the steps to take to be awarded dementia-friendly certification,” explains Isobel. “We will also decide on two specific community projects for the year.”

Other organisations involved in the new group include Gardner Webb Accounting, Telford Mann Pensions & Investments, Age Care Advice and The Care Advice Centre.

Any organisations wishing to attend or find out more should contact Isobel Mann: ijmann@braybray.co.uk.

For more information about Bray & Bray, visit: www.braybray.co.uk.

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