Barnsley’s first dedicated dementia support centre is to be officially opened today by Coun Sir Steve Houghton.
He will be joined by staff, members and volunteers from Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support (BIADS) at the new Joseph Exley House, in Dean Street.
The new dedicated support centre was funded by the Buy a Brick for BIADS appeal which raised £36,000 over a period of eight months.
BIADS was founded in 2009 and has developed rapidly over four years, helping to bridge the gap in support for families affected following cuts to local authority services.
Services provided include a helpline, carer support and befriending, activity groups, as well as a club for former carers.
Members can also join in with social events, days out and holidays.
The move to the new centre will mean that for the first time all activities and services will be available under one roof, and in the coming months will be expanded and developed in consultation with members.
Developments being considered include weekend opening, and it has already been decided that the centre will open in between Christmas and the New Year, a time of year that can make loneliness particularly acute for many people.
The first new service began on November 27 with the drop-in cafes. Members can call in, Monday to Friday between 10.30am and 1pm, for refreshments or just for a chat with other members and volunteers.
There will also be an open day today from 10.30am, which anyone can go along to and see what services are available and learn more about what BIADS does.
Chief Officer Linda Pattison said yesterday: “Our dream of opening our own dementia support centre has come true.
“Everyone connected with BIADS is extremely proud of the progress we have made in such a short time.
“As we move into the New Year we plan to develop our existing services and set up new projects to support the people of Barnsley affected by dementia.”
Anyone wishing to know more about BIADS can email the charity at email@example.com or phone on 01226 280057.