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Boost for Norwich church dementia scheme

A day centre and friendship club run by a Norwich church’s social action arm has received £115,000 from the National Lottery …

A day centre and friendship club run by a Norwich church’s social action arm has received £115,000 from the National Lottery to help support older people with early onset dementia over the next three years, reports Network Norwich & Norfolk.

Lakenham Day Centre and Friendship Club is run by social action charity Community Action Norwich and based at the New Hope Christian Centre on Martineau Lane.  

The £115,000 of Big Lottery Fund cash over three years will enable the staff team to create programmes which support older people with early onset dementia, according to Deputy Day Centre Manager Margaret Wiginton who is managing the project.  

“The activities will help to improve the lives of older people with memory difficulties, through Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and other activities,” she said. “This will support them and their families to develop coping strategies for everyday tasks, with a view to enable them to live independently and stay in their own home longer.  

“Alongside this we will develop a six-month volunteer placement scheme for unemployed school leavers and those seeking to re-enter the work place after a gap. They will explore opportunities in health and social care of older people and receive basic training in related areas, including a personal development module, preparing them to access employment.”      

Currently the centre is open two days each week from 10am-3.30pm and offers friendship, a nutritious meal cooked on the premises, interesting and stimulating activities as well as three outings a year.  

Margaret said: “We seek to include those who are lonely and in danger of becoming isolated. The card table is very popular with the gentlemen, many of whom have been widowed and find the friendship they experience amongst us a real life line. Family members tell us that the days spent at the centre have given their parents a new lease of life and significantly enhanced their sense of wellbeing."  

Anyone interested in the Day Centre or the Volunteering Placement Scheme should contact Community Action Norwich and speak to Georgina or Margaret on 01603 617771 or email  

The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.  

The fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since it’s inception in 2004 we have awarded close to £6bn.  

PHOTO (above): Reminiscence work involving the Lakenham Day Centre and a local primary school.


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