A SERIES of special reminiscence events to mark Dementia Awareness Week will also embrace the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup Final. Dementia Friendly Rossendale had already planned to host an event at Kay Street Baptist Church, Rawtenstall, on Saturday May 19 from 10am to noon when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plan to marry on the same day.
As the FA Cup is also on May 19, organisers Paula Bond and Sue Hemsley, co-vice-chair of Dementia Friendly Rossendale, decided to combine both celebrations into a theme.
Paula said: “The event is open for everyone, carers and those living with dementia and their families. We are asking people to bring along an item that relates to their wedding or a sporting occasion that will spark a memory. We have a local artist Andrew Holland who is coming along for free to make card prints which will be an outline on a wedding or a sporting theme. Our visitors will get the chance to pick one and decorate it if they wish with confetti or glitter. We also have a poet Tony Curry giving his time for free who will get basic background information on the person and then make a personalised poem which will be put inside the card. Everyone who comes along will then have a very personal keepsake to take away with them along with a wedding favour or a chocolate football.”
Sue will decorate a wedding cake with fresh flowers, wedding dresses will be on display along with a bouquet and corsages as well as sporting equipment and football scarves. Whitworth Museum has provided a box of Royal memorabilia to prompt conversation. Wedding and sporting music will be played while the activities take place and Sixth Form students from Alder Grange School will be assisting.
For the third year there will also three steam special trains on the East Lancashire Railway when more than 250 passengers both care homes residents and individuals who live along the length of the line will enjoy a subsidised trip.
Sue said: “They will be travelling from Bury through to Rawtenstall and back again and be served with a lunch for just £3.50. We have been fundraising all year and have also been given generous donations to help with all of the events. The trains on May 16 and 17 are already full but there are some places available on Friday May 18 when the Mayors of Bury and Rossendale will also be attending.”
Paula added: “It is all about raising awareness and about bringing back memories. People living with dementia have long-term memories and events like this can help to bring those memories back.”
On October 13 Dementia Friendly Rossendale will also be holding a concert involving local bands and groups at St Mary’s Church, Rawtenstall
Story by Catherine Smyth