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A new service has opened in North Yorkshire by Dementia Forward, which aims to support those with dementia, their families and carers by providing them with free help and advice.

Funded by North Yorkshire County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the area, the new service is part of Dementia Forward’s initiative to help people live independent, healthy lives for as long as possible.

Established in 2012, Dementia Forward is a charity that provides support and information to anybody affected by dementia.

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Dementia Forward has been working with the County Council in the Harrogate and Vale of York CCG areas and it will now also cover Scarborough and Ryedale, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby and Craven CCG areas.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire’s Corporate Director for Health and Adult Services, said: “Dementia Forward is a local charity that provides a highly responsive, individual support service for people living with dementia, and the people who care for them.

“The aim of the service is to help people living with dementia and their family, friends or carers to feel empowered and informed so that they have choices following their diagnosis. Information, advice and support is provided through a wide range of local services, including a North Yorkshire Helpline; home visits from a trained dementia support advisor; signposting to other sources of help; education programmes and a range of wellbeing and social activities.

“Dementia Forward will continue to increase understanding of dementia across North Yorkshire. Their remit will also include education and awareness sessions to a range of groups, including schools and businesses.”

The support service is available to anyone living in the county who is affected by dementia, from pre-diagnosis to end of life.

Jill Quinn, Chief Executive of Dementia Forward, commented: “Being awarded the contract across the whole county is extremely important to us as we have looked forward to ensuring everyone living in North Yorkshire can access the same quality of dementia care and support.

“Our services are designed to give the right support at the right time, and from the very first conversation with us we can open doors to the things that people may need.  We achieve this by working closely with colleagues in health and social care services and other voluntary organisations, as well as the wonderful support provided by volunteers and local communities.

“We want to encourage people who are looking for dementia support to get in touch in touch with us, and also hope to hear from people who would like to volunteer with Dementia Forward.”

Dementia Forward will be holding information roadshows across North Yorkshire throughout May.

To find out more about Dementia Forward, the website is here

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