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Dementia-friendly activities announced as part of Essex Dementia Day

Date published: 17 January 2018

Friday 19 January is the third annual Essex Dementia Day, a countywide day of action and awareness-raising to improve the lives of everyone living with dementia, their carers and families. 

Over 850,000 people across the UK are estimated to be living with dementia. Around 1,250 were diagnosed in Colchester last year. Dementia can affect anyone and is not limited to people of any particular age. Across Colchester, a number of events are taking place to mark the day, arranged by Colchester Borough Council and other members of the Colchester Dementia Action Alliance (DAA).

Leisure World Colchester is announcing an exciting new series of FREE dementia-friendly activity sessions, starting on Wednesday 21 February. People with dementia will be able to discover support in their local area, carry on enjoying activities they love, or even try something new, in a safe and supportive environment. 

Wednesdays will include table tennis, badminton and sessions from 1pm - 3pm, with swimming available under the guidance of qualified teachers in the Fitness Pool from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. On Thursdays, Line Dancing or a tea dance and 'Singing for the Brain' with refreshments can be enjoyed from 1pm to 4pm. There's no need to book; you can call 01206 282000 for more information.

Visitors to Colchester Town Centre can find out more about the new sessions, alongside a host of other information on dementia and the support services available locally, at the pop-up Dementia Day market stall on Colchester High Street. From 9.30am to 2.30pm on Friday 19 January, officers from Colchester Borough Council and its partner organisations will be promoting support available to anyone affected by or caring for someone with dementia. There will also be a stall at Lion Walk Activity Centre between 11am-1pm for the centre's members.

You can also sign up as a Dementia Friend at the stall. Dementia Friends watch an informational video or attending a session by the Alzheimer's Society to increase their understanding of dementia and find small ways in which we can all improve the lives of those affected. 60 staff at Colchester Borough Council have already become Dementia Friends, as have staff and volunteers at other DAA organisations.

Colchester DAA is marking the day at Colchester United's next home game on Saturday 20 January. Members will be on hand with information on how we can make Colchester a more dementia-friendly town and the club has offered free tickets to local care home residents with dementia.

Cllr Paul Smith, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: "Dementia in its many forms is a life-changing condition, both for those who live with it and those who care for them, and it can affect anyone. When others understand dementia, it can make a huge difference to someone's quality of life. I encourage all Colchester residents to go online, visit the Dementia Day stall and help us to raise awareness and make our community more dementia-friendly."

Tracy Rudling, Chair of One Colchester, the strategic partnership which includes the DAA, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for the DAA to enter its second year by reaching out to thousands of people who may be affected by dementia or wish to support those affected.  Our partners will be on hand to continue with their commitment to making Colchester dementia-friendly."

For more information on the work of the Colchester Dementia Action Alliance, please visit

Learn more about Dementia Friends at